BARKADA movies used to be quite popular in local films. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, we remember the barkada of the late Fernando Poe, Jr. who made a series of hit barkada flicks with their Lo’Waist Gang. It proved so popular it had a female counterpart, the H-Line Gang. At Sampaguita Pictures, they had the hit “Mga Batang…” franchise starring their young stars introduced in Stars 66, like “Mga Batang Bangketa”, “Mga Bata ng Lagim”, etc.
In the ‘80s, one of the biggest hits is Viva’s “Bagets” that even spawned a sequel. In the ‘90s, it’s the movies of the Guwapings, like “Guwapings, First Adventure”, “Guwapings Dos”, “Pare Ko” and “Kabilin-bilinan ng Lola.” But lately, all the films about barkadas have laid big fat eggs at the box office. First was Viva’s “Squad Goals,” which tried to launch a new batch of stars: Julian Trono, Vitto Marquez, Andrew Muhlach, Jack Reid and Dan Huschka, directed by Mark Meily.
Then there’s Regal’s “Walwal” with Elmo Magalona, Kiko Estrada, Donny Pangilinan and Jerome Ponce, directed by Joey Reyes. This was followed by “Petmalu” with Diego Loyzaga, Vitto Marquez, Marlo Mortel, Jairus Aquino and Charles Kieron, written and directed by Joven Tan.
Then there’s “G”, an entry in the recent Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino starring Jameson Blake, McCoy de Leon, Mark Oblea and Paolo Angeles, produced by CineKo and directed by Dondon Santos.
The last is the recent “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love” about five millennial friends with Tony Labrusca, Jane Oineza, Jerome Ponce, Myrtle Sarrosa and Albie Casino, produced by Regal and written and directed by Jason Paul Laxamana.
This is the reason we are fearful about the fate of two more youth-oriented movies coming up. First is “G! LU,” which stands for “Go La Union.” Maybe they should change the title considering what’s hapened to the recent “G.” Produced by Arnold Vegafria, this stars Derrick Monasterio, Ruru Madrid, David Licauco, Kiko Estrada and Teejay Marquez, with a first-time director.
Then there’s “Dead Kids,” produced by Globe Productions and directed by Mikhail Red. The title alone already has a negative connotation. We hope it won’t end up really dead at the box office. This stars Khalil Ramos, Vance Larena, Sue Ramirez, Markus Paterson, Kelvin MIranda, Gabby Padilla and Jan Silverio.
Well, what can we say? These movies flopped mainly because their stars are of the “bituing walang ningning” variety. They don’t have fans who’d want to see them on the big screen. We asked a producer why they keep on getting this star and the answer was: “Alam mo bang she’s very popular in social media? She has 5 million followers on Instagram.” Now she knows having millions of followers in social media does not necessarily translate into box office gold.
Those five million fans are just satisfied seeing her on Instagram, not on the big screen where they have to pay to see her.
And so, we have more “barkada” movie since producers never learn from their mistakes. Let’s just wish them well and hope they’ll have better luck at the box office than any of their ill-fated predecessors na pawang umuwing luhaan sa takilya.