Rom-Com 'Hello, Love, Goodbye' Becomes Highest-Grossing Filipino Film of All Time

'Hello, Love, Goodbye' Still - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Star Cinema

The film, which stars two of the Philippines' biggest talents in Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, resonated globally, particularly with the 10 million Filipinos living abroad.

Filipino rom-com Hello, Love, Goodbye ended its record-breaking run in theaters last week, and with total global earnings of $17 million (?881 million), it became the highest-grossing film ever produced in the Philippines. 

The Star Cinema production showcases the talents of two of the country’s biggest stars, Kathryn Bernardo and Alden Richards, under the direction of Cathy Garcia-Molina. It follows the relationship that builds between two overseas Filipino workers (OFW) whose lives intersect in Hong Kong.

The filmmakers have spent the past week both toasting and reflecting on their success.

“I could only speculate, but maybe its theme is timely,” Garcia-Molina told The Hollywood Reporter. “The movie is not just a love story. It is also about love for family and self. Maybe that combination drew curiosity, especially when it started receiving good feedback and reviews. Issues of empowerment of women are also palpable in the movie. That and the capacity for men to love wholly may also have played a part in the movie’s relatability.”

The film seems also to have resonated globally, especially among the some 10 million OFWs around the world. Their numbers have accounted for a fair chunk of the film’s global box office earnings, with around $2 million collected internationally, including a combined $1 million from Middle East markets, where there are an estimated 2.5 million Filipino workers.

Bernado and Garcia-Molina had last joined forces for 2018’s The Hows of Us, which had previously held the record for box office takings for a Philippine film with $15.5 million (?810 million).

Hello, Love, Goodbye opened across 465 screens on July 31, claimed as a record number by its production company, and it marks a rare collaboration between stars from two of the country’s biggest networks in ABS-CBN (home to Bernardo) and GMA-7 (home to Richards).

Rumors of a sequel are already swirling, but fans of the film already have more of the lovers’ tale to digest with a novel version of the story, released by ABS-CBN Books and written by award-winning author Charmaine Lasar. The book includes an epilogue and more background about the previous life in the Philippines of the character played by Bernardo.