Hollywood and the Philippine Cinema Industry

 

It is hard to imagine an America without a Hollywood, the “dream workshop” of the world and purveyor of American interest and way of life.

Hollywood entertains, educates and sets the trend in many things for the world to follow.  For such a small place (a district in Los Angeles, California, USA), its influence on the popular culture and psychology of the world is phenomenal, transcending geographical and sociocultural boundaries.

Hollywood movies usually deal with themes that depict the ideal and the heroic in men and society.  Yet there is nothing so ideal or heroic about the lives and lifestyles of many of its celebrities who seem to thrive on controversial and scandalous acts, defying social and behavioral norms.  Oddly enough, their audiences adore them the more for it.

The advent of television and the Internet (both of which provide a wide variety of home entertainment media) has had little if any effect on the performance of Hollywood movies at the box office.  Why the enduring popularity of Hollywood movies and celebrities? 

For one, an action-packed movie with, say, Sylvester Stallone or Bruce Willis or Arnold Schwarzenegger ridding the world of bad guys in “mega explosive” fashion, on the big screen and in surround sound,  provides the viewers with a couple of hours of memorable entertainment and momentary respite from life’s cares and worries.  Big budget science fiction, fantasy, romance and comedy pictures are also popular among moviegoers.

Hollywood celebrities are also among the most admired people on earth, for both their professional success and opulent lives.  Even the excesses of a Mel Gibson or a Paris Hilton or a Britney Spears and a host of other Hollywood celebrities who all seem to get away with their “misbehavior” are oddly viewed by their legions of fans as something admirable, even desirable.  All the other famous and admired people “outside” of Hollywood do not enjoy the same “luxury and privilege” of treatment by the press and the general public.  Finally, modern information technologies provide Hollywood with more efficient and wide reaching platforms for the mass promotion of its products and community image.

In the Philippines, the competition posed by Hollywood to the local cinema industry is literally out of control, which prompted an industry analyst to wryly observe:  “it (Hollywood) is bulldozing the local market”.  As if this is not heavy enough a burden to carry, the industry also suffers from unreasonably high government taxation — one of the highest if not the highest taxed among ALL local industries.  A released movie is imposed 30% amusement tax, on top of the 12% value-added tax and income tax, which means that a locally produced movie must gross about three times its capital in order merely to break even.  The proliferation of pirated movies is also a major headache for the industry (a pirated DVD movie costs anywhere from 50 to 80 pesos, whereas a movie ticket costs 100 to 200 pesos), which deprives local movie producers of income from their investment and labor.

On the part of the industry, limited production budget and time makes it virtually impossible for locally produced movies to compete against Hollywood movies that are supported by seemingly inexhaustible funds and distributed worldwide.  The rise of “pito-pito” (full-length movies that are processed and completed in just seven days of shooting) exemplifies the consistent decline of Filipino movies.  Yet Bollywood and the vibrant South Korean cinema industry have both shown us the way to compete against Hollywood movies in both local and international markets.

For its part, the government should seriously consider the various industry proposals from tax rebate to investment incentives to the imposition of higher taxes on imported films (instead of local movies) or a cap on the number of foreign films being distributed in the country.  The industry, after all, provides inexpensive entertainment to millions of Filipinos in these times of crisis, contributes to the economy, and can be an excellent foreign exchange earner in countries where millions of Overseas Filipinos reside and/or work.

 
Published 06 July 2011
Pasig City, PHILIPPINES 

 

Past and present Philippine movie celebrities (in alphabetical order)

 

Aga Mulach

 

 

 

Alma Moreno

 

 

 

 

 Amalia Fuentes 

 

 

 

 Ann Curtis

 

 

 

 

 Ara Mina 

 

 

 

 

Anita Linda

 

 

 

Armando Goyena

 

 

 

Barbara Perez

 

 

 

Cezar Montano (with wife Sunshine Cruz) 

 

 

 

 

Charito Solis

 

 

 

 Christopher De Leon

 

 

 

 

Corazon Rivas

 

 

 

Daisy Romualdez

 

 

 

Delia Razon

 

 

 

 Dingdong Dantes

 

 

 

 

Dolphy Quizon

 

 

 

Eddie Garcia

 

 

 

 Eddie Gutierrez

 

 

 

 

Eddie Rodriguez

 

 

 

 Edu Manzano

 

 

 

 

Efren Reyes

 

 

 

 Fernando Poe, Jr.

 

 

 

 

Fred Montilla

 

 

 

 Gabby Concepcion (with ex-wife Sharon Cuneta)

 

 

 

 

Gloria Romero

 

 

 

 Hilda Koronel

 

 

 

Jay Ilagan (with Vilma Santos)

 

 

 

 John Lloyd Cruz

 

 

 

 

Joyce Jimenez 

 

 

 

 

Juancho Gutierrez

 

 

 

  Judy Ann Santos

 

 

 

 

Lani Oteyza

 

 

 

Leonor Vergara

 

 

 

Leopoldo Salcedo

 

 

 

Leroy Salvador

 

 

 

 Lito Lapid

 

 

 

 

Lolita Rodriguez

 

 

 

Lorna Tolentino 

 

 

 

 

Lou Salvador, Jr.

 

 

 

 Lovi Poe

 

 

 

 

Luis Gonzales

 

 

 

 Luis Manzano

 

 

 

 

 Marian Rivera

 

 

 

  Maricel Soriano

 

 

 

 

Mario Montenegro

 

 

 

Marlene Dauden

 

 

 

Nestor De Villa

 

 

 

Nida Blanca

 

 

 

 Nora Aunor

 

 

 

 

Pancho Magalona

 

 

 

Paraluman

 

 

 

Piolo Pascual

 

 

 

Ramon Revilla

 

 

 

 

Ramon Revilla, Jr.

 

 

 

 

Ric Rodrigo

 

 

 

 Richard Gomez

 

 

 

 

Richard Gutierrez

 

 

 

Rita Gomez

 

 

 

 Robin Padilla

 

 

 

 

Rogelio Dela Rosa

 

 

 

Romeo Vasquez

 

 

 

Rosa Rosal

 

 

 

 Rosanna Roces

 

 

 

Rudy Fernandez

 

 

 

 

 Ruffa Gutierrez

 

 

 

 Sarah Geronimo

 

 

 

 

 Sharon Cuneta

 

 

 

 

Shirley Gorospe

 

 

 

 Susan Roces

 

 

 

 

Tirso Cruz III (with wife) 

 

 

 

 

Tita Duran

 

 

 

 Vic Sotto

 

 

 

 

 Vilma Santos

 

 

 

 

Zaldy Zshornack

 

 

 

Past and present Hollywood celebrities (in alphabetical order)

 

Al Pacino

 

 

Alec Baldwin

 

 

 

Andy Garcia 

 

 

 

 

Angelina Jolie

 

 

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

 

 

Ashley Judd 

 

 

 

Barbra Streisand

 

 

 

Betty Davies

 

 

 

Bo Derek

 

 

Bob Hope 

 

 

 

Brad Pitt

 

 

 

Brooke Shields 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Lee 

 

 

 

Bruce Willis

 

 

 

Burt Lancaster

 

 

 

Burt Reynolds 

 

 

 

Cameron Diaz

 

 

 

Cate Blanchett 

 

 

 

Catherine Zeta-Jones 

 

 

 

Charles Bronson

 

 

 

Charlie Chaplin

 

 

 

Charlie Sheen

 

 

 

Charlize Theron 

 

 

 

 

Charlton Heston

 

 

 

Christian Bale

 

 

 

 

Christopher Reeves 

 

 

 

Clark Gable

 

 

 

Claudia Cardinale 

 

 

 

Clint Eastwood

 

 

 

Dean Martin 

 

 

 

Demi Moore

 

 

 

Denzel Washington

 

 

 

Doris Day

 

 

 

Drew Barrymore

 

 

 

Dustin Hoffman

 

 

 

Eddie Murphy 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Hurley 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Taylor

 

 

 

Elvis Presley

 

 

 

Farrah Fawcett

 

 

 

Frank Sinatra

 

 

 

Gary Cooper 

 

 

 

George Hamilton

 

 

 

George Peppard

 

 

 

Goldie Hawn 

 

 

 

Grace Kelly

 

 

 

Gregory Peck 

 

 

 

Greta Garbo

 

 

 

Gwyneth Paltrow

 

 

 

Halle Berry

 

 

 

Harrison Ford

 

 

 

Henry Fonda 

 

 

 

Hilary Swank 

 

 

 

Hugh Grant

 

 

 

Humprey Bogart

 

 

 

Ingrid Bergman

 

 

 

Jack Nicholson

 

 

 

Jack Palance 

 

 

 

Jacky Chan 

 

 

James Coburn 

 

 

James Dean

 

 

 

James Stewart 

 

 

 

Jamie Lee Curtis 

 

 

 

 

Jane Fonda

 

 

Jane Russel

 

 

Janet Leigh

 

 

 

Jennifer Aniston

 

 

 

Jerry Lewis

 

 

 

Jessica Alba

 

 

Jodie Foster 

 

 

 

John Travolta

 

 

 

John Wayne

 

 

 

Johnny Depp

 

 

 

Jon Voight

 

 

 

Jude Law

 

 

 

Judy Garland 

 

 

Julia Roberts

 

 

 

Julianne Moore 

 

 

 

Julie Andrews

 

 

 

Kate Winslet 

 

 

 

Katie Holmes

 

 

 

 

Kevin Costner

 

 

 

Kim Basinger 

 

 

 

Kirk Douglas

 

 

 

Kurt Russel 

 

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio

 

 

 

Liam Neeson 

 

 

 

Lindsay Lohan

 

 

 

Liza Minnelli 

 

 

Marilyn Monroe

 

 

 

Marlon Brando

 

 

 

Martin Sheen

 

 

 

Matt Damon 

 

 

 

Meg Ryan 

 

 

 

Mel Gibson

 

 

 

Meryl Streep

 

 

 

Michael Douglas 

 

 

 

Michael Jackson

 

 

Michael J. Fox 

 

 

Michelle Pfeifer

 

 

Morgan Freeman 

 

 

Nicole Kidman

 

 

Olivia de Havilland

 

 

 

Olivia Hussey 

 

 

Omar Sharif 

 

 

Orlando Bloom

 

 

 

Pamela Anderson 

 

 

 

 

Paris Hilton

 

 

 

Patrick Swayze 

 

 

 

Paul Newman

 

 

 

Penelope Cruz 

 

 

 

Peter O’Toole

 

 

 

Pierce Brosnan

 

 

 

Queen Latifah 

 

 

Reese Witherspoon 

 

 

 

Renee Zellweger 

 

 

 

Richard Burton

 

 

Richard Gere

 

 

Robert De Niro

 

 

Robert Mitchum 

 

 

Robert Redford 

 

 

Rock Hudson

 

 

 

Roger Moore 

 

 

 

Russell Crowe

 

 

 

Ryan O’Neal 

 

 

 

Salma Hayek

 

 

 

Sammy Davies, Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Jessica Parker 

 

 

 

Sean Connery

 

 

 

Sharon Stone 

 

 

Sidney Poitier 

 

 

Steve McQueen

 

 

 

Steven Segal 

 

 

 

Sophia Loren

 

 

 

Susan Sarandon

 

 

 

Sylvester Stallone

 

 

 

Tatum O’Neal 

 

 

 

Tom Cruise

 

 

 

Tom Hanks

 

 

Tony Curtis

 

 

Uma Thurman

 

 

 

Ursula Andress 

 

 

Vanessa Redgrave 

 

 

Warren Beatty

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg

 

 

Will Smith

 

 

 

Winona Ryder 

 

 

 

Woody Allen 

 

 

Yul Brynner 

 

 

Zsa Zsa Gabor