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38th MMFF posts record P767-M gross, says festival head

MMDA chairman and MMFF overall head Francis Tolentino arrives at the Meralco Theater for the festival awards night on December 27. (Bernard Testa/InterAksyon)

The 38th Metro Manila Film Festival set a new box-office record with a total gross of P767 million, Metro Manila Development Authority chairman and MMFF overall head Francis Tolentino announced on Wednesday.

The amount represents the festival’s total earnings for all eight films that were exhibited in theaters nationwide for 15 days from Christmas Day to January 8.

Tolentino said the figure far exceeded his target of P700 million and represents a 20.6 percent increase from last year’s total gross of P636 million.

However, he withheld the breakdown of the earnings of all the eight films out of respect, he said, for the solemnity of the Black Nazarene parade in Manila on Wednesday. Tolentino will release the detailed figures on Thursday.

The festival’s box-office figures became the subject of controversy when “Thy Womb” director Brillante Mendoza alleged on New Year’s Day that the numbers being reported by some entertainment blogsites, citing anonymous MMDA sources, were spurious and “padded”.