‘Nakakalungkot’: Ogie Diaz laments supposed lack of cinemagoers

May 27, 2024 - 2:27 PM
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Ogie Diaz_movie ticket counter
Ogie Diaz in this photo posted on his Facebook on Jan. 1, 2024; Photo of a movie ticket counter posted by Ogie on Facebook on May 26, 2024 (ogie.diaz.5/Facebook)

Showbiz columnist and entertainment vlogger Ogie Diaz expressed disappointment over the supposed lack of cinemagoers in the country.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the columnist shared a picture of a movie ticket counter in a shopping mall with no queues of moviegoers and posted his observations on Facebook.

He also sought suggestions on how to attract audiences to the movie theaters.

“Mga limang minuto siguro akong nakatanghod sa view na ito. Baka kasi may pagbabago. As in, baka may bibili ng tiket para manood ng sine. Pero wala. Nakakalungkot para sa movie industry,” Ogie wrote.

“Paano kaya itutulak ang mga tao para manood ng sine sa ordinaryong araw bukod sa Metro Manila [Film Fest]?” he added, referring to the annual local film festival organized by the Metro Manila Development Authority.

Ogie then shared possible factors that could affect Filipinos’ movie-watching habits.

“Dapat bang ibaba ang presyo ng ticket? Dapat bang ibaba ang entertainment tax para may pambili ng popcorn man lang ang mga manonood?” Ogie asked.

“O sadyang tumaas na talaga ang pamantayan ng mga tao sa kalidad ng pelikulang [papanoorin] pagkatapos makapanood ng magagandang foreign films sa streaming platform like Netflix, Viu, Amazon Prime?” he added.

“Lumalabas na mas marami pang kumakain sa Pares Overload ni Diwata at ni Hiwaga kesa nanonood ng sine, gano’n ba? Ano ba maisa-suggest mo, friend?” the columnist concluded.

As of this writing, Ogie’s comments section is already closed.

His post has garnered 3,200 likes and reactions, almost 500 shares and 24 comments.

Ogie’s post was shared on Sunday, when Tropical Cyclone Aghon (international name: Ewiniar) was battering parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, with rains and winds.

“Aghon” made landfall nine times when it traversed the Philippines over the weekend.

Reports said a large part of the National Capital Region experienced continuous rains on Sunday, causing most people to stay home instead of going to malls and other places.

Despite the factor of “Aghon,” however, Filipinos claimed in Ogie’s post that movie ticket prices have gone up compared to the past years.

“Ibaba ang PRESYO… apaka mahal na talaga ng mga sine ngayon. 400 pesos [‘yung] dito malapit sa amin…” a Facebook user wrote in the comments.

“Presyo po ng ticket, pang-isang araw na sweldo [ng] isang regular na empleyado. Sana magawan ng paraan,” another user commented.

Others pointed out the popularity of streaming platforms that offer movies that people can watch from the comfort of their homes instead of going to cinemas.

“Mostly kasi streaming na nanonood ngayon. Lalo na madami ng malalaking TV, so kahit nasa bahay, pwede na, masarap pa pagkain mo,” a Facebook user wrote.

“[Noon], mura na ang sine, [pwede] mo pa ulitin kung ‘di mo naumpisahan… kahit isang buong araw ka pa sa sinehan… ahaha
O ‘di ba.. inabot ko pa ‘yun, ahaha… Ngayon, [pwede] mo pa rin ulitin… sa Netflix at ibang apps.. at a very minimal cost with a whole library of different selections,” another online user said.

“Isang ticket sa sine is [P400]. 1 month subscription sa Netflix rin ‘yan. How many movies can you watch in [one] month. People are now budgeting money… for something else. ‘Di na priority ang manood sa cinema. Magkukulong ka sa loob ng sinehan for [two] hours or more, while if you watch at home, you can do something else like magluto [or] mag-bake,” wrote another Pinoy.

Others commented that the “quality” of local films could also influence Pinoys’ movie-watching habits.

“The quality of the film natin talaga, Mama Ogie. We need to step up. Napag-iwanan na tayo. Napako tayo sa Rom-Com, Comedy at Drama. Lahat naka-CGI at green screen na, tayo prosthetics at props pa rin,” a Facebook user said.

“Also, the price of the tickets, ang OA. 400 pesos pinakamura. Pamasahe o diesel [or] gas mo pa, tapos mahal na snacks. Compared sa comfort at home, Netflix lang at sariling food, wala na ibang gastos,” the user added.

“Time to wake up and make really beautiful and quality movies… Dami magaling na directors and actors, plus the whole team… Government must support the industry as well,” another Pinoy wrote.

In 2019, director Erik Matti criticized the local film industry for supposedly rehashing story concepts instead of coming up with fresh ones.

RELATED: Here’s what’s wrong with Philippine cinema, according to Erik Matti

The director ended his post by saying that Filipinos, particularly filmmakers, have to “find a way to move” and “change the course of cinema in this country.”