GMA Pictures (formerly known as Cinemax Studios and GMA Films) is a film and television production company established by GMA Network in 1995. Its films have become both critical acclaim and commercial successes, among which are Jose Rizal, Muro Ami, and Deathrow.
GMA Pictures logo (2019–present)
|Industry||Film production |
|Predecessor||Cinemax Studios (1995–1998) |
GMA Films (1998–2016)
|Gilberto Duavit Jr. (Chairman) |
Atty. Anna Teresa Gozon - Abrogar (President)
Jose Mari Abacan
|Products||Motion Pictures |
Post Production Services
|Owner||Atty. Felipe L. Gozon|
GMA tested the movie waters by co-producing films with Viva Films. Among the movies that were co-produced were Ober Da Bakod: The Movie, Forever and Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko. Although not credited in the opening and closing credits of the movies, the network's logo appeared in the aforementioned movies' posters in theaters and newspaper ads.
1995–2000: Early yearsEdit
In 1995, GMA launched its own film outfit as Cinemax Studios under the supervision of Jimmy Duavit and Butch Jimenez. After its initial production with Run Barbi Run, Cinemax inked a co-production deal with OctoArts Films in which OctoArts would distribute the movies in theaters nationwide, while Cinemax (through its mother network, GMA) would handle publicity and promotions of the movies for TV and radio. GMA Network holds the airing rights for those movies. Films co-produced with other production companies are distributed by Cinemax.
In 1998, it changed its name to GMA Films after HBO's sister channel Cinemax entered the Southeast Asian market. The same year, GMA received critical and commercial success for the following movies it produced, Sa Pusod ng Dagat and José Rizal, both directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya. GMA Films also produced Muro-Ami and Deathrow, both were also critically acclaimed.
When Felipe Gozon took over GMA Network, the film production outfit of GMA Network was placed on hiatus for about 5 years.
2005–2009: Comeback and BreakthroughEdit
After almost five years of hibernating, the film outfit made a comeback in 2005 with the romantic movie Let the Love Begin, which became the highest-grossing Valentine film in the Philippines on its release that year.
It later released other films that also became hits in the Philippine Box-office.
In 2007, the award-winning film Ouija co-produced with Viva Films was supposed to be its first film to be released internationally. However, the scheduled overseas premieres in four U.S. cities (Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego) were cancelled. Only the one in New Jersey pushed through. The movie is titled Seance internationally.
In 2009, GMA Films produced the reboot of the classic komiks novel Ang Panday in partnership with Imus Productions. Starring Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. in the title role, it became the official entry of GMA Films and Imus Productions for the 2009 Metro Manila Film Festival. It became the festival's top grosser and won 6 major awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Revilla.
2010–2012: Continued SuccessEdit
From then on, all films were only released nationwide while selected films had selected screenings in key points worldwide such as When I Met U, starring Richard Gutierrez and KC Concepcion had various international screenings and You to Me Are Everything, starring Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes had a New Jersey showing in 2010 and its recent film to be released at least within US borders was In Your Eyes, starring Claudine Barretto, Richard Gutierrez and Anne Curtis, had an international screening in notable cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego.
During the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival, GMA Films scored a back-to-back victory at the box office when it became the top grosser once again via the entry Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote. The film starred Vic Sotto and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. and was a joint production with Imus Productions, M-Zet Production, Octo Arts Films and APT Entertainment.
In September 2011, there are speculations going around as to whether the upcoming film, The Road, will be released internationally as the director Yam Laranas has expressed for the film to be released worldwide and he himself said that he will help finance the release worldwide.
On January 24, 2012, it was announced by GMA Films Producer Joey Abacan that The Road will be screened in cinemas in the U.S. and Canada. This marks the first time GMA Films premiered one of its films without any negotiations with co-produced because The Road is solely produced by GMA Films. It is scheduled to have a U.S. and Canada theatrical release on May 11, 2012.
2012 is the year that GMA Films has produced eight films in a year, the most it has ever done since its very start. This was part of GMA Films' resolution to produce one film per month. Even though that did not happen, they managed to produce eight films. On the same year, It made their own first venture for television was Cielo de Angelina on the morning slot.
After producing the highest output in 2012 with 8 films, GMA Films went downhill, producing only 2 feature films in 2013, Dance of the Steelbars and My Lady Boss. Both films performed below box-office expectations despite a star-studded cast.
In 2014, the film outfit distributed the horror-thriller Basement and produced the action-thriller Overtime and the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival entry Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2, which won 5 major awards.
2015–2016: AlDub PhenomenonEdit
With the popularity of the AlDub love team (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza rising to phenomenal heights in 2015, GMA Films partnered with Octo Arts Films, M-Zet Productions, APT Entertainment and MEDA Productions to produce My Bebe Love: #KiligPaMore as entry to the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival. The hottest love team was joined by Vic Sotto and Ai-Ai delas Alas, directed by Jose Javier Reyes. The movie figured in a tight race with another MMFF entry, Beauty and the Bestie for the top spot at the box-office. The movie eventually earned P385 million, breaking box-office records. The said movie also earned 3 major awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Maine Mendoza.
In 2016, GMA Films partnered with APT Entertainment and M-Zet Productions for the movie Imagine You and Me, which marked the second team-up of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza. Shot mostly in Como and Verona in Italy, the movie was directed by Mike Tuviera. It was also one of the only two films (the other one is the film adaptation of Angels & Demons by Dan Brown) permitted to shoot in Verona.
Upon the movie's release on July 13, 2016, the film grossed over ₱12.8 million on the first six hours of opening day and it went on to gross over ₱21.5 million at the end of the day. It was 2016's highest opening gross for a Philippine film until it was surpassed by the Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla starrer Barcelona: A Love Untold, which grossed ₱23 million according to Star Cinema. Overall, Imagine You and Me was a big box office hit and had a successful four-week run in Philippine cinemas nationwide.
After Imagine You and Me, GMA Films took another hiatus as parent GMA Network focused on its migration to digital TV.
2019–present: Second ComebackEdit
In 2019, GMA revived its film outfit as GMA Pictures. They also inked a co-production with Mic Test Entertainment, starting with Family History. GMA Pictures also created a new division named Backyard Productions, with Kiko en Lala as its first release.
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