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.

Author:  Rene “RC” Catacutan
Published 06 July 2011



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


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