MANILA - This year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has reached the gross revenue target which it set for its opening day on December 25.
In a statement released Monday, the executive committee of this year's MMFF said the first-day ticket sales target was reached although it did not release actual box-office figures.
"We have re-assessed and set a new benchmark for this festival," the statement said, noting that it sees the box-office gross for the first day "as a real bonus as we have already achieved what we started out to in the first place which is the cultural advancement through our Filipino films."
"You cannot put a price at something which the future generations of Filipinos will find priceless and ageless," the statement added.
It did, however, reveal the top four earners (in alphabetical order) on opening day: "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2," "Die Beautiful," "Seklusyon" and "Vince and Kath and James."
Erik Matti's horror film "Seklusyon" follows a young deacon as he, along with others, are sent to a holy sanctuary to hide from the devil seven days before they became ordained as priests.
"Die Beautiful," directed by Jun Robles Lana, follows the story of a transgender woman, portrayed by Paolo Ballesteros.
Meanwhile, "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2," a sequel to the comedy box-office hit "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank," takes aim at the tropes that plague the country's local romantic comedy genre.
Teen romance film "Vince and Kath and James" is an adaptation of an online series, which went viral, that told the story of two lovestruck teens, Vince and Kath, through text messages.
Last year, the eight MMFF entries earned P150 million on opening day led by Star Cinema's "Beauty and the Bestie" starring Vice Ganda and Coco Martin, and Vic Sotto's "My Bebe Love."
This year's entries were selected based on the following criteria: story, audience appeal and overall impact (40%); cinematic attributes or technical expertise (40%); global appeal (10%); and Filipino sensibility (10%).
The other entries in the 2016 edition of the annual festival are the quirky-romantic drama "Saving Sally"; "Sunday Beauty Queen," a documentary on the lives of Filipino domestic workers residing in Hong Kong; Nora Aunor's "Kabisera"; and "Oro" with Irma Adlawan.
This year's MMFF became controversial following the exclusion of Regal Film's "Mano Po 7," Vice Ganda's "The Super Parental Guardians," and Vic Sotto's "Enteng Kabisote."
Meanwhile, Liza Diño, chairperson of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, said in Facebook post that the executive committee is happy that a lot of people still patronize local movies.
“Since this is a new edition of MMFF, the executive committee set a new target for the festival's gross revenue and I am happy to say that our films were able to meet our expectations,” she wrote on Facebook on Monday.
“Despite the obstacles -- brownout, bagyo, batikos at kung Anu-ano pa -- we thrived and rose above these challenges! Congratulations sa ating 8 entries! Ito ang simula ng panibagong yugto ng pagtangkilik sa pelikulang Pilipino,” she wrote.