Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart dare to fall in love in ‘Equals’

In the romantic science fiction drama “Equals,” Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult play star-crossed lovers being watched closely by a Big Brother in a future where emotions are disabled to achieve a peaceful society.

Produced by Ridley Scott’s production house, Scott Free and directed by accomplished filmmaker Drake Doremus, “Equals” is an emotionally and visually arresting film from a screenplay by Nathan Parker based on a story idea from Doremus.

“Equals” is a nuanced, slow-burning love story, the film is set in a futuristic utopia where emotions have been genetically suppressed in an effort to protect society from the war and strife that has destroyed previous generations. On occasion, the suppression fails and emotions emerge in individuals – the Collective dubs this illness Switched On Syndrome, or SOS. As society is increasingly threatened by this health crisis, all SOS sufferers are heavily medicated or sent to the Den, a corrective facility from which no one returns.

Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult are Nia and Silas who encounter each other as colleagues at the science journal, Atmos. As Silas begins to experience the onset of SOS and his own awakening emotions, he finds himself inextricably drawn to Nia, who is hiding her own SOS. The longer they attempt to suppress their palpable connection, the more the tension fans the flames of their attraction. But with this newfound pleasure of intimacy, comes the threat of discovery and consignment to the Den. With the support of a group of like-minded SOS patients, they realize escape is their only option.

While Doremus and Parker worked on the story and script night and day, producer Pruss and Scott Free strove to assemble the players necessary to push it into production. With the blessing of Scott Free production chief Michael Schaefer, the project attracted a group of heavyweight backers and the project’s journey to principal photography gathered momentum. Putting the project in front of Ridley Scott played a pivotal role in getting “Equals” made.

Pruss says: “Having Ridley Scott as a producer on the film and as someone who is going to present the film, was not just crucial, but very inspiring for us all. Obviously Ridley is someone who knows a thing or two about science fiction and I think you can really feel his imprint on the film.”

“Equals” also completes Drake Doremus’ trilogy of films about love, also comprised of the Sundance winning “Like Crazy” (2011) and “Breathe In” (2013). Equals began its journey to the screen with a question that Doremus posed to producer, Michael Pruss: “What will love look like in the future… do you think we could potentially evolve away from the thing that makes us most human?”

Doremus and Parker instantly clicked and began brainstorming the question and the myriad of ideas it conjured, before landing on the idea of a society where humans are genetically modified to be absent of feeling for the betterment of society. In developing the story, Parker strove to examine not just the positive aspects of love, but also the pain and agony that accompanies caring deeply for another person. “We wanted these two characters, once they discover love, for it to feel like it was a curse,” Parker says. “They don’t want it, they want to run away from it, but are drawn back together because they can’t resist it.”

“Equals” opens May 11, 2016 in theaters from Pioneer Films.

‘Just the 3 of Us’ unites John Lloyd, Jennylyn, Cathy Garcia-Molina for the first time

John Lloyd Cruz and Jennylyn Mercado team up for the first time with director Cathy Garcia-Molina in one movie – summer’s much-anticipated romantic film “Just the 3 of Us.”

The film is directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina from a script written and developed by the collaboration of Kiko Abrillo, Gillian Ebreo, Katherine Labayen and Vanessa R. Valdez.

“Just the 3 of Us” is centered on an unlikely love story between polar opposites Uno (Cruz) and CJ (Mercado) – two strangers, and how one night changes their lives forever. Unforeseen circumstances collide and force Uno and CJ to live under the same roof as they both deal with their sense of responsibility and their yearning for security. Uno is motivated by his sense of family while CJ is governed by an unconditional love that should put her first above everything else. The unlikely thing that binds Uno and CJ together paves the way for them to find in each other the kind of love they never thought they needed.

John Lloyd Cruz is the undisputed rom-com king of the industry, with a flawless track record in the box-office and an unmatched artistry as one of the country’s most accomplished young actor. John Lloyd recently broke all box-office records alongside Bea Alonzo in 2015’s A Second Chance – the highest grossing non-Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) movie of all time. As a result of the blockbuster feat of A Second Chance, John Lloyd is hailed as one of the Phenomenal Stars of 2015 in the recently concluded 47th Box Office Entertainment Awards. John Lloyd also received critical acclaim for the bravura of his performance in MMFF 2015’s Honor Thy Father and for his superb performance in the internationally acclaimed historical film, Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis.

Jennylyn Mercado, on the other hand, is a back-to-back MMFF Best Actress awardee who delivered unforgettable performances in 2014’s English Only, Please and 2015’s #WalangForever, films which also did very well in the box-office. English Only, Please was also recognized as a Breakthrough Box Office Indie Film in the 2015 Box Office Entertainment Awards.

At the helm of Just The 3 of Us is box-office director Cathy Garcia-Molina, whose most recent film, A Second Chance received remarkable reviews from the country’s most trusted and respected critics and overwhelming box-office receipts. Like John Lloyd and Jennylyn, Garcia-Molina was also recognized at the 47th Box Office Entertainment Awards as the Most Popular Film Director of 2015.

A heartwarming and slightly irreverent romance that features the combined work of John Lloyd, Jennylyn and Cathy, Just The 3 of Us is a one thing that countless fans thought would never happen. Witness John Lloyd and Jennylyn breathe life to Uno and CJ and discover the beauty and bliss of the most unexpected love story ever told in film.

Just the 3 of Us also stars Joel Torre, Maria Isabel Lopez, Ketchup Eusebio, Joem Bascon, Ynna Asistio, Victor Silayan, Fifth Solomon, Manuel Chua, PJ Endrinal, Michael Agassi, Josef Elizalde, Jed Montero, Lucas Magalang and newcomers Paulo Angeles and Chuchay Jung.

Opening across the Philippines on May 4, 2016, “Just The 3 of Us” is released and distributed by Star Cinema.

‘Captain America: Civil War’ posts biggest PH opening weekend ever with P362-M

MANILA, May 2, 2016 – Box-office records fell as Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opened to a historic P362-million in its first five days nationwide, capturing the crown for the Biggest Opening Weekend of All-Time (surpassing the P339.8-M of Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” last year).

This was announced today by a spokesman of Walt Disney Studios which distributed the film through Columbia Pictures.

Arriving in 623 screens, the battle royale between Team Cap and Team Iron Man was met with unanimously positive reactions from fans and movie critics. They singled out the film’s alternating serious and light tone, compelling story, well-defined characters who each gets to shine, and successful introductions of Black Panther and the new Spider-Man into the Avengers assembly.

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Other notable records that got shattered by “Civil War” are the following:

  • Biggest Thursday of All-Time at P52.23-M (beating “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s” P50.1-M)
  • Biggest Non-Holiday Friday of All-Time at P57.21-M (besting “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s P51.8-M);
  • Biggest Saturday of All-Time at P87.88-M (surpassing “Batman v Superman’s P86.7-M);
  • Biggest Sunday of All-Time at P94.36-M (breaking “Avengers: Age of Ultron’s P83.3-M); and
  • Biggest Single Day of All-Time, first with Saturday’s P87.9-M, then with Sunday’s P94.4-M, (smashing “Batman v Superman’s P86.7-M).

The sensational Philippine opening of “Captain America: Civil War” contributed to the massive $200.2 million gross of the film in its first weekend of international release.

Among the most significant contributors were Korea with $28.9-M, Mexico with $20.6-M, the United Kingdom with $20.5-M, Brazil with $12.3-M, Australia with $10.9-M and the Philippines with $7.5-M. It opens in the US on May 6 yet, when it is expected to make nearly $200 million.

Back in the Philippines, the three highest-grossing cinemas are SM North EDSA with P15.96-M, SM Megamall with P15.81-M and SM Mall of Asia with P14.97-M.

Joining the Top Ten theaters are Trinoma (P11.88-M), Glorietta 4 (P8.31-M), SM Southmall (P6.23-M), Eastwood (P6.03-M), SM Cebu (P5.80-M), Alabang Town Center (P5.76-M) and Gateway (P5.42-M).

The Top Twenty consists of Greenhills Promenade (P5,338,700), Market! Market! (P5,338,700), Power Plant (P5.28-M), SM Aura (P5.23-M), Bonifacio High Street (P4.79-M), SM Clark (P4.63-M), Ayala Cebu (P4.47-M), SM Fairview (P4.41-M), Robinsons Magnolia (P4.34-M) and Greenbelt 3 (P4.31-M).

captain america civil war movie

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.

Anthony & Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios through Columbia Pictures. Follow the official social media accounts of Marvel, namely, (FB) MarvelPhilippines, (Twitter) @marvelstudiosph and (Instagram) @marvelphilippines and use the hashtags #choosewisely, #teamcap, #teamironman.