Popcorn is back in the theaters

Are we expecting cinemagoers back with a vengeance at the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival?

If there is a tourism revenge, will the moviegoer return to the theaters with a vengeance for the 2022 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)?

Noel Trinidad and Liza Lorena, stars of 'Family Matters' film

The past weeks, local movies An Inconvenient Love and Broken Blooms, and foreign co-productions Plan 75 and Triangle of Sadness tried to lure people into the cinemas, but expectations were not met.

James Cameron’s recent box-office hit Avatar: The Way of Water opened in the international market with an estimated box office draw of $15.8 million on its first day all over the world, including the Philippines.

One would know if a movie were a big hit because non-performing films get fewer screens. Last weekend, all cinemas had mostly Avatar in their line-up.

Paying Millennials and Gen Zers are the groups most comfortable heading back to theaters. Baby boomers remain the least comfortable due to their “comorbidities.”

We have been looking forward to going to the theaters because home streaming cannot be replicated by the Dolby Atmos sound or the communal experience of watching romantic, art, or action flicks on the big screen with popcorn and drinks with family or friends.

"In the Mood for Love"

Bringing back old classics like the recently restored Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love on the big screen at the QCinema filmfest proves viable. Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung relive their relationship on the 20th-anniversary release of In the Mood for Love to a sold-out crowd. Cinemas will always have a place for premieres or special screenings.

On account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the audience has discovered the convenience of streaming. People working at home binged on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, and other sites at their convenience. They control and pause the film any time they want. Plus they have gotten used to watching alone, away from the maddening crowd for fear of getting any virus.

This Christmas, Filipino films are back. To be featured at the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival are Deleter by Mikhail Red, Family Matters by Nuel Naval, Mamasapano: Now It Can Be Told by Lester Dimaranan, My Father, Myself by Joel Lamangan, Labyu with an Accent by Coco Martin, Nanahimik ang Gabi by Shugo Praico, Partners in Crime by Cathy Garcia-Molina, and My Teacher by Paul Soriano.

It would be a nice to experience horror with Nadine Lustre on the big screen, watch veterans Noel Trinidad and Liza Lorena act in their tender years, share laughter with Coco Martin and Jodi Sta. Maria, witness the humor of Vice Ganda and Ivana Alawi, see the teacher-student relationship of Toni Gonzaga and Joey De Leon, and witness the acting talent of Ian Veneracion.

With the high costs of watching films (every year at MMFF, ticket prices are increasing) and the risks of getting Covid, will the moviegoers gather together for a revenge screening experience with their families and friends? Let’s hope so. We care about the future of our movies. We will not discuss the merit or demerit of these entries.

We encourage everyone to support our local film industry, go buy a ticket because our cinemas are open! Many of them are barely surviving. Let’s be positive but not with Covid. Follow cinema health protocols. 

See you at the MMFF!