The Rights Stuff


It’s official: Movies’ opening to be moved Friday from Wednesday

By ABS-CBN — 26.06.2019

MANILA — Nationwide releases of movies will soon be moved to Friday from the traditional Wednesday, among other changes in Philippine cinema distribution set to roll in July, according to the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

Liza Diño, chairperson of the FDCP, shared a memorandum circular detailing new guidelines for the theatrical release of films, both foreign and local.

The switching of nationwide opening day from Wednesday to Friday is seen to “accommodate more potential moviegoers during the weekend,” a statement from FDCP on Monday said.

The change was the result of a March dialogue among the FDCP, producers, distributors, and theater owners; and a subsequent April meeting gathering other stakeholders, regarding the exhibition of films in cinemas across the country, amid fears that the industry has been struggling to draw audiences.

Under the traditional Wednesday release, films with weak audience turnout would get pulled out of cinemas before the weekend, thus narrowing the chance of them being seen on days when more moviegoers are available.

According to the memorandum circular shared by Diño, a minimum run-length of seven days will be observed for every film booked for theatrical release. The theater assignment will be guaranteed for the first three days, which land on Friday until Sunday, “except for extreme cases” such as “zero to less than the expected turnout of audience during screening.”

The first three days of a film’s run are also guaranteed “full screens,” as opposed to “screen splitting” where two films share the same cinema and have alternating schedules within the day.

Theatrically released films, under the new policy, should only be screened to other platforms in the country after a holdback period of 150 days after its release day, “to maximize the movies’ revenue opportunity in local cinemas.”

Meanwhile, students aged 18 years and below can enjoy movie tickets priced at P200 each in Metro Manila, and a maximum of P150 in provinces on Wednesdays, once the memorandum circular takes effect.

According to Diño, the changes will be implemented 15 days after the circular has been released in a national newspaper on June 25.

It has been a long and arduous journey to get the entire film industry to sit down and work towards a shared vision but…

Posted by Liza Diño-Seguerra on Tuesday, June 25, 2019


This story was first published here.