With most cinemas remaining closed due to the pandemic, ABS-CBN Films has announced it will now release newly produced local movies on digital, cable, and satellite TV.
It has partnered with streaming platform iWantTFC and digital site KTX.ph to reach Filipino communities around the globe and Philippine cable companies SKYcable and Cignal to 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.
“Viewers now have strong and powerful choices on where to consume content,” she added, citing that for only P150 per film, audiences will get 48-hour access to new movies in their chosen platform.
The project’s maiden offering is the horror flick “U-Turn” starring JM de Guzman, Tony Labrusca, and Kim Chiu, slated for release on Friday, October 30.
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.
“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,” he expounded.
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.
Aside from “U-Turn,” upcoming films “My Lockdown Romance” starring Joao Constancia and Jameson Blake, “Boyette (Not A Girl, Yet)” led by Zaijian Jaranilla, “Four Sisters Before the Wedding” featuring Belle Mariano, Charlie Dizon, Gillian Vicencio, and Alexa Ilacad, “Princess Dayareese” with Maymay Entrata and Edward Barber, and “Hello Stranger The Movie” starring JC Alcantara and Tony Labrusca are slated to be released simultaneously in multi-platforms.
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 digital movie series “The House Arrest Of Us” this month. Starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla, the 13-episode program is available exclusively on KTX and iWantTFC for P499.
The film subsidiary of ABS-CBN also recently introduced “Hello Stranger,” a boys love (BL) digital series that garnered a steady following here and in other parts of the world, such as the United States, Puerto Rico, Belarus, and Thailand. The series ended with close to 14 million views.