Country Focus: Spain
Spain - Analysis of the Spanish cinema balance published by the ICAA (March 2007)
by Vitor Pinto
02/03/2007 - According to a balance on the local film industry in 2006 released by the ICAA , 150 features films were produced in Spain last year. Of those 150 films, 40 were documentary features and eight were animated titles. These figures represent the highest level of production in the last 25 years.
The number of short films produced was equally high, a total of 209, the highest number in the last 20 years.
Forty-one titles were made as co-productions, marking a drop from 2005 (53 co-productions). However, this downward trend is expected to be compensated for in 2007, as a total of 83 co-production projects have since been selected by the ICAA for financing. Spain's top partners in 2006 were the UK (12 co-productions), France (10) and Argentina (9).
The increase of local production is due not only to institutional funding and television backing but also to private production financing: 183 companies backed the production of films, against 160 in 2005.
Of those 183 production outfits, 138 backed a single film, 41 from one to four films, and only four backed five or more titles. This is similar to 2005, when out of 160 active companies, 130 backed only one film, 27 from one to four, and only three companies participated in five or more titles.
In box office terms, the most successful production company was Madrid-based Estudios Picasso, who were behind of the local box office hits of 2006: Alatriste [trailer], in first position (over 3.1m admissions and nearly €16.5m grossed) and Oscar winner Pan's Labyrinth [trailer], in at third with over 1.3m admissions and over €7.1m grossed.
2006 exhibition and admissions balance
A total of 1,748 feature films, of which 372 were domestic titles, were shown on Spanish screens last year. These figures, announced by the ICAA , mark an increase compared to 2005 (1739 films, 352 local titles) of 21.28% over 20.35% and are furthermore in line with the rise in production (see news).
However, when it comes to an analysis of admissions – and despite the good performances of Alatriste [trailer], Volver [trailer, film focus] and Pan's Labyrinth [trailer] – the market share of local productions fell from 16.68% to 15.43%.
This downward trend is followed by European films in general, which registered an overall market share of 27.2% (against 37.12% in 2005), while US films did much better with market share of 71.22% (against 60.29% achieved the previous year).
The box office top ten was dominated by US titles, with the exceptions of Alatriste (3.13m admissions, nearly €16.5m grossed), which came in a comfortable fourth after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (€27.9m), The Da Vinci Code (€26.73m) and Ice Age 2 (€19.3m), while Almodóvar's latest film, Volver, came in at number seven (1.9m admissions, €10.12m).
The number of venues also registered a considerable decrease from 1,052 film theatres (and 4,401 screens) in 2005 to 936 (and 4,299 screens) in 2006.