Filipino movie producer floored by Hollywood listing

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Philippine network ABS-CBN is floored by the recent achievement of its movie, 'In the Name of Love', which landed on the Associated Press list of Top 20 highest-grossing movies for last month. The list was based on a Hollywood.com report.

The network said it was a "happy surprise" for the people behind the movie, which had taken a year to make. "However, we don't know [how the ranking was arrived at]," said Roxy Liquigan, ad prom officer of Star Cinema, ABS-CBN film production arm.

An story dated May 19 put the Olivia Lamasan drama in the 15th slot among movies that led the international box-office race that weekend. According to the report, 'In the Name of Love' grossed $1,917,443 in 87 locations around the world, excluding North America.

The top five in the report, written by Paul Dergarabedian, were Hollywood films "Fast (and Furious) 5," "Thor," "Priest," "Rio" and "Water for Elephants." The list was compiled by Rentrak Theatrical and first released by Hollywood.com. Dergarabedian is president of the Box-Office Division of Hollywood.com and is a longtime box-office analyst for AP.

Liquigan is actually perplexed, because the Lamasan drama, which premiered in Manila on May 11, started its international screening only last weekend in key areas in the United States, Canada and the Middle East, and only on weekends.

"In the Name of Love" is the love story of a dance coach (Aga Muhlach) and his student (Angel Locsin), who is about to marry a politician's son (Jake Cuenca).

Liquigan said Rentrak could be "just a new group." Otherwise, he said, Star Cinema films like Chito Ro?o's "Sukob," Cathy Garcia-Molina's "You Changed My Life," and Mae Cruz's "Catch Me I'm In Love," all of which had broken box-office records as well, would have been listed in their respective periods of release.

(A quick search on the Net revealed that Rentrak is a media measurement services provider, among other things. Its International Box-Office Essentials brand "provides clients with box-office information for 26 countries. The data is collected through an electronic connection with thousands of theater box offices," according to www.rentrak.com.)

"In any case, this means a lot to us," said Liquigan. "It's an indicator that we're now at par with Hollywood films when it comes to viewership."

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