ping’s box-office flop

interesting that 10,000 hours, touted as a ping lacson biopic, is a box-office flop.  it won most of the awards, including best picture, in the recent filmfest pero, aray, kulelat ito sa takilya, bakit kaya?  maybe it should have been promoted as a robin padilla action pic instead?  but wait, that would have placed robin in awkward competition with nephew daniel padilla na namayagpag sa pagpag horror, talbog si uncle, ouch.  maybe the demographics of the movie viewing public has changed?  mostly young, who prefer comedy and horror to action-con-politics?  but what about their elders?  nanghinayang sa 220 pesos, mahirap ang buhay?

o baka naman the way ping promoted the film pre-festival didn’t help any.  after all, he came right out and said it was only partly inspired by his own story, hindi pala totoong biopic.  my guess is, if it had been truly a biopic, non-fiction, true-to-life, about the dacer-corbito murder cases, and necessarily the erap impeachment and ouster, and about the gma administration that ordered his arrest, and finally the aquino admin that withdrew the murder cases against him, it would have been a box-office hit.

but ping says we’ll have to wait for that juicy story, he’s writing a book, na matatagalan pa dahil biglang na-busy siya with rehab work (read The calamitous appointment…).  hmm.  he could be telling the truth, that he’s innocent of the 2000 dacer-corbito murders, but even if so, i expect that he’s not exactly raring to tell to tell us the whole truth, such as, who ordered the killings.  because, you know, as long as he says nothing, status quo, the guilty ones are indebted to him, or something like that, and that can’t hurt when you want to be president, is my theory.

another of my pet theories is that ping’s anti-pork barrel advocacy while he was in the senate, 2001 to 2013 (minus 10,000 hours), was a deliberate longterm strategy to win himself some pogi points, panabla sa notoriety attaching to him mula pa noong kuratong baleleng case in the mid-90s (rub-out ba or shoot-out) na napatungan pa ng dacer-corbito.  the strategy has finally paid off, ang bango bango niya in this anti-pork barrel season, but not bango enough, obviously, to sell a movie of a fictional senator fighting for truth and justice.


  1. manuel buencamino


    It was Robin’s box-office flop. He starred, he was supposed to draw the crowds. Doesn’t matter who or what the movie was about, there was a time when Robin could carry any movie…basta action… not anymore.

    I think you’re right, the movie viewing public has changed, mostly young, who prefer comedy and horror to action-con-politics. Actors like Robin will have to go with the flow, maybe let their next movie carry them…show the moviegoers they can do comedy and horror as well…then maybe they can carry movies again.

    I think Robin has starred in one or two romantic comedies before, how did they fare at the box office?

    • it seems to be the wrong year to talk the death of action film, given OTJ (Star Cinema), and Metro Manila (foreign-made film, but you get what i mean). within the filmfest, there’s always an action film (or two), say, the two installments of Ang Panday with Bong Revilla, and Asiong Salonga and El Presidente in 2011 and 2012. the second installment of Panday landed 3rd in the filmfest, the latter films were both 6th (second to the last) but still grossing P38M.

      so no, the action film is not dead. and neither is Robin’s career, which i follow keenly (given an interest in local iconographies). his comedy films: you mean La Visa Loca and Videoke King, in the early 2000s. the latter did well in the box office, the former (an indie) got him a best actor award from Urian.

      both his more famous romance films were with Regine Velasquez: Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw (which I love), and Til I Met You. the former got him a box office king award. his last (most recent) film that i saw was Sundo (2009), a thriller that earned a cool P100M at the box office. from 2011 to 2013, Padilla had a number one sitcom on ABS-CBN, probably the longest run any sitcom has had in recent years (including those of vic sotto’s).

      so actually, Robin’s been doing and has done everything you say about going with the flow, and has maintained quite a following.

      so not Robin, and not the action film as genre. then what is it? two things.

      10,000 Hours was sold as a biopic of Ping Lacson, policeman, fugitive, senator. THAT is what’s not new. we had a good two decades of this kind of action film after all, from the mid 70s to the 90s, where every police officer or famous “rebel with a cause” would have his life made into a film, from Butch Belgica to Alfredo Lim, Ping Lacson to SPO4 Santiago: Sharpshooter, Kunin Mo Ang Ulo ni Magtanggol to Pasukuin si Waway. look at Bong Revilla, Rudy Fernandez, Jinggoy Estrada filmographies; its a fascinating display of this memorializing of police officers and criminals through the form of the biopic film. THAT would be the one that’s over.

      there is also this: i watch every mainstream and commercial Robin Padilla film (the indies are difficult to catch in commercial cinemas). NOT 10,000 Hours.

      knowing it was based on some aspect of Ping Lacson’s life kept me from paying P220 bucks for it. because ANY film (or book, or stage production) that’s based on any politico’s or political family’s life IS propaganda. no ifs and buts.

      • manuel buencamino


        Thanks for the info on Robin Padilla and the state of Filipino mobies in general.

        Biopics of criminals and cops as you say is over. I guess that would explain why the Boy Golden movie did not rank in the MMFF?

        I was taking off from your mother’s comment regarding the preference of young moviegoers for comedy and horror to action films. Anyway I still think it was Robin’s movie that flopped, not Ping. By flop I mean it did not rank in the top three. I’m pretty sure it will at least break even.

        As to biopics of politicians, I guess you will never watch a movie based on Jose Rizal or Andres Bonifacio because ANY film based on any politico’s or political family life IS propaganda. no ifs and buts. :-)

        Anyway, I’ve seen a few Filipino movies, maybe not more than two dozen over the course of my life, and when it comes to action and thrillers I am neither moved nor thrilled. The romantic comedies and the love stories make me cringe. The comedies make me laugh though. Filipino humor is unsurpassed.

        • i wouldnt mind more historical movies, like the ones that have been done on rizal. and bonfacio and sakay. i suppose masasabing propagandish rin ang mga yon, pushing their versions of historical events, but not so pakikinabangan ng bida in the here and now. in contrast, last years el presidente, on aguinaldo, was so anti-bonifacio, yun ang propagandish, lalo’t may mga apo na nasa pulitika in the here and now

          • manuel buencamino


            Likewise any movie that portrays Bonifacio as a man of the masa who was victimized by the illustrados would be characterized as propaganda by those who believe otherwise.