ABS-CBN Films skips theaters, goes direct to homes

ABS-CBN Films, a unit of multi-media giant ABS-CBN Corporation has also gone digital to allow Filipino moviegoers worldwide to finally watch newly produced local movies in the safety of their homes while most cinemas remain closed due to the pandemic risk.  

In a statement, ABS-CBN said its new films can be viewed digital, cable, and satellite TV after it partnered with streaming platform iWantTFC and digital site KTX.ph to reach Filipino communities around the globe.

It has also tapped Philippine cable companies SKYcable and Cignal also serve film buffs in various parts of the country.

“Even if the pandemic has been challenging, it has pushed us to think out of the box. And with the theaters still closed, we thought of ways to reach our audience in different ways,” said ABS-CBN Films managing director Olivia Lamasan. 

She added that, “Viewers now have strong and powerful choices on where to consume content,” and cited that, for only P150 per film, audiences will get 48-hour access to new movies in their chosen platform. 

ABS-CBN Films business development, creative and new media head Enrico Santos pointed out what makes this venture a leap forward.

“All these platforms have been here before but the breakthrough of this is that we can time all these platforms to release the very same movie simultaneously-- an original, first-run, never-before-seen Filipino movie at that,” he said.  

Santos noted that, “SKYcable pay-per-view and Cignal pay-per-view are tried and tested venues. iWantTFC now offers international same-day viewing. The newest platform, KTX.ph, provides viewing with chat and added events.”

ABS-CBN Films, which includes Star Cinema, Cinema One Originals, and Black Sheep under its umbrella, is also producing more movies that are skipping theatrical release. 

According to Lamasan, ABS-CBN Films remains hopeful for the reopening of cinemas soon. “It’s just that for now, we are in this circumstance and we also need to find ways to connect and still be of service to our audience. But we are praying and are in full support for the reopening of cinemas,” she said. 

ABS-CBN Films has also pioneered its first digi movie series “The House Arrest Of Us” this month. The 13-episode program is available exclusively on KTX and iWantTFC for P499.(James A. Loyola)