John Lloyd, James, and Nadine on competition between their movies

Alexa Villano
John Lloyd, James, and Nadine on competition between their movies
John Lloyd Cruz and Jennylyn Mercado go head to head with James Reid and Nadine Lustre at the movies – 'Just The 3 Of Us' and 'This Time' both hit theaters May 4. How do the stars feel about this competition?

MANILA, Philippines – It’s going to be an interesting week for local cinema, as two big studio films projected for plenty of box office success go head to head at the movies the week of May 4. 

Real- and reel-life couple James Reid and Nadine Lustre are facing some tough competition – the newest Viva Films movie starring the hit tandem, This Time, has the same opening date with the John Lloyd Cruz and Jennylyn Mercado movie Just the 3 of Us: May 4.  (READ: James Reid, Nadine Lustre on working together as a couple, movie ‘This Time’)

Just The 3 of Us was originally scheduled to open on April 27 but was moved to a May 4 date, same as This Time

Captain America: Civil War opened April 27. That film has broken box office records, opening with P362 million in its first 5 days – a record for biggest opening weekend of all time, besting 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which pulled in P339.8 million in its opening weekend last year. This was announced Monday, May 2, by a representative of Walt Disney Studios, which distributed the film through Columbia Pictures.

SAME PLAYDATES. James Reid and Nadine Lustre say they are not competing with the John Lloyd Curz-Jennylyn Mercado movie 'Just The 3 of Us.' Photo by Alexa Villano/Rappler

During the press conference for their movie This Time, Saturday, April 30, James and Nadine were asked how they felt about going up against Star Cinema’s movie.

“It’s the first time I’m experiencing this so I really don’t know how to react. Well I’ve always believed in healthy competition, of course we’re surprise as well,” James said.

Nadine meanwhile echoed James’s statement.

“Nagulat din po ako …sobrang stunned. Ako first time ko lang po na ma experience na may dalawang movies na same din po yung playdate nila. We’re happy naman po kasi s’yempre kasi naman si Kuya Lloydie nagtretrend din naman po. We’re not competing naman po with anyone so we’re really excited and happy sa This Time,” she said.

(I was also surprised…really stunned. This is actually my first time to experience two movies having the same playdate. We’re happy of course because Kuya Lloydie also trends. We’re not competing with anyone so we’re really exicted and happy with This Time.)

Meanwhile, screenwriter Mel del Rosario and director Nuel Naval admitted they were both disappointed by the circumstances. 

Mel has written for some of ABS-CBN’s popular shows including Be Careful With My Heart, and Oh My G! She also wrote the screenplay for the Ai-Ai delas Alas blockbuster film Tanging Ina.

Nuel on the other hand directed episodes for Maalaala Mo Kaya, Magkaribal, and the movie The Love Affair starring Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta, and Bea Alonzo.

Well it felt really like Philippines and China over Spratlys. Yun yung unang narandaman ko. I was surprised and then talagang sumama naman ang loob ko being a kapamilya myself,” Mel said, referring to the group name referring to those affiliated with or are fans of ABS-CBN.

“And after that said, I tried to understand the business decision of what they had to do[…] sabi na lang namin let’s focus on the movie na mas pagandahin na tapusin nang mas maganda […] We agreed na we will not dwell on the negativity na magtatapat.”

(That’s what I felt from the start. I was surprised and I really got upset being a kapamilya myself. And after that said, I tried to understand the business decision of what they had to do…we just said let’s focus on the movie to make it better and finish it well. We agreed not to dwell on the negativity, that they will be compared.)

Nuel meanwhile said: “Sabi ko sana I wish I am just a director pero tao din pala ako. So nasaktan ako bilang isang kapamilya for more than 20 years, and JaDine is also a kapamilya […]”

(I said, I wished I were just a director but I’m also human. So I was really hurt as a kapamilya for more than 20 years and JaDine is also a kapamilya […] )

Despite having the same playdates, Nuel said that what’s important is that both movies will just help each other in giving the audience a good story.

Meanwhile in an interview with reporters at the media conference for the movie Sunday, May 1, John Lloyd said that having the same movie dates means the movie industry is thriving.

NEW TANDEM. John Lloyd Cruz and Jennylyn Mercado at an event for 'Just The 3 Of Us.' Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Tingin ko isa lang ang sinasabi nun – buhay na buhay ang industriya ngayon, para magkasabay-sabay yung playdate ng mga pelikula ngayon. I’m very excited para sa pelikula nila,” he said, adding he congratulated the two for the movie.

(I think this just means one thing – the industry is very much alive, for movies to have the same playdate. I’m very excited for their movie.)

Director Cathy Garcia-Molina meanwhile said: “Suportahan na lang. Magkaibigan naman kami ni Nuel Naval.”

(Let’s support each other. Nuel Naval and I are friends.)

In This Time, James and Nadine play Coby and Ava who are childhood friends and only see each other in the summer. During the moments they are apart, their feelings are tested, surviing the challenge of a long distance relationship.

This Time also stars Al Tantay, Freddie Webb, Nova Villa, Ronnie Lazaro, Candy Pangilinan, Yam Concepcion, Donnalyn Bartolome, Yassi Pressman, and Bret Jackson.


In Just The 3 Of Us, Jennylyn plays Aqui, a flight attendant who has had a long-time crush on Uno (John Lloyd), a pilot. Circumstances lead to them having to live together, but as love blooms, Aqui and Uno explore feelings for each other beyond duty and responsibility. –


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Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.