Red Lights: Spanish cinema’s first box office hit for 2012
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
06/03/2012 - Finally, this year’s first Spanish box office hit! Although its results were only good, with no surprises or fiascos, Red Lights [trailer] by Rodrigo Cortés (read the interview), arrived second at the box office last weekend with €1.12m in box office receipts and an average per copy of €3,630, according to Rentrak Spain.
A little more had been expected of this thriller, with its good - if not enthusiastic - reviews at Sundance and its aura of a good international film starring Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver, and Cillian Murphy. Cortés’ previous film, Buried [trailer, film focus], had left audiences impressed, but its final box office results were a little short off the mark, because of an incredibly complex plot (90 minutes inside a coffin is not a great way to attract the general public!) and minimum efforts to promote it. Red Lights however was made for a wider public and had great promotional support from television channel Antena 3, one of the film’s co-producers . Thus, box office figures for Red Lights in its first weekend were almost double those of Buried - €650,000 -, although the average takings per copy were very similar.
The film has enjoyed an impressive advertising campaign via social media, where Cortés is very present, especially on Twitter. Between the film’s premiere at Sundance and its release in Spain, the young director told the film’s inside story in a very personal style, and communicated directly with his audience.
It wasn’t very difficult for Red Lights to become Spain’s best release of 2012 so far. This year’s first two months witnessed a succession of more or less failed releases, from films with great potential (Ghost Graduation [trailer] by Javier Ruiz Caldera, which made about €2m, or Dark Impulse [trailer] by Mariano Barroso) to other more modest films (Katmandú, un espejo en el cielo by Icíar Bollaín, or Frozen Silence [trailer, film focus] by Gerardo Herrero).
(Translated from Spanish)