Country Focus: Spain
Domestic film admissions down 1.4m in 2008
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
16/03/2009 - The Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA) yesterday published the official 2008 Spanish box office results. No miracle has taken place since last December (see news) and the final figures are even lower than expected, with a slight drop in the market share (13.3% in 2008 compared to 13.5% in 2007) and a rather more significant decline in the number of admissions (down from 15.7m to 14.3m). This is accompanied by an 8.44% decrease in overall cinema attendance.
Álex de la Iglesia’s The Oxford Murders [trailer, film focus] emerges as the biggest Spanish hit of the year, having attracted 1.42m viewers. However, the film lags behind the top positions in the rankings, claiming only fifteenth place.
In 2008, an increasingly alarming trend was confirmed: the continuing domination of US productions at the Spanish box office. They represent 71.51% of the market share and 18 of the 25 best-performing films (including the top six).
Spanish audiences are therefore not very receptive to non-domestic European films, which account for 12.83% of the market share (compared to 16.79% in 2007). This result is largely thanks to UK productions such as The Dark Knight, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas [trailer] and Quantum of Solace [trailer], which represent a total of 8.1%.
According to ICAA director Fernando Lara, piracy and the lack of a major local hit are the main reasons for this poor performance by Spanish film. However, he agrees with Pedro Pérez – president of the Federation of Audiovisual Producers Associations (FAPAE) – who says the situation will pick up in 2009, thanks to the launch of new titles by Pedro Almodóvar (see news), Alejandro Amenábar (see news), Fernando Trueba, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo (DarkBlueAlmostBlack [trailer]) and Isabel Coixet (see news).