A lacklustre 2011 heralds turbulent 2012
by Vitor Pinto
18/01/2012 - It was a year of crisis, unsurprisingly, for cinema too: in 2011, with 15.7m admissions sold, Portuguese movie theatres lost 866,000 viewers compared to 2010. In terms of takings, these figures represent €79.9m, that is 2.9% less than the previous year. This was announced by the ICA in its annual report, available on its web page.
Among the 261 features released in 2011, 133 were US-produced and 103 were European (co-)productions. 80% of the total number of viewers opted for US films, while European titles drew only 5% of audiences.
David Yates’s UK/US co-production Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 [trailer] tops the list of the year’s biggest box-office hits. Distributed by Columbia TriStar Warner, the final battle between the world’s best-known wizard and his rival Voldemort attracted 493,761 viewers and grossed €2,938,089. The Top 5 is completed by four other Hollywood productions.
As for domestic films, the audience favourite was Blood of My Blood (pictured). João Canijo’s latest feature benefited from positive reviews and word of mouth to become the most-watched Portuguese film of 2011. Released in early October by Midas Filmes (which also produced the film), this suburban melodrama centred on the theme of unconditional love attracted 20,953 viewers and grossed €97,784.
The list of the five Portuguese films with the greatest audience impact is rounded off by Mario Patrocinio’s Portuguese/Brazilian documentary COMPLEXO: Parallel Universe (distribution: Valentim de Carvalo; €85,171 in box-office takings); João Botelho’s film Disquiet, inspired by the work of poet Fernando Pessoa (Ar de Filmes; €45,433); Miguel Gonçalves Mendes’s acclaimed documentary José and Pilar [trailer], which was picked to represent Portugal in the Oscar race (JumpCut; €28,018 in 2011 alone [the film was released in November 2010]); and Sergio Tréfaut’s documentary The City of the Dead (Faux; €32,610).
On the production side, in 2011, 57 cinematic works (29 features and 28 shorts) were made with backing from the ICA. For the time being, it is impossible to predict the number of films that will receive support from the institute in 2012. To the frustration of professionals, the funding calls that usually opened at the start of the year have been suspended while approval is awaited for the new film law which will be debated on February 1, after parliament last week rejected a film law bill submitted by the Socialist Party (see news).
(Translated from Spanish)