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RELEASES Spain

Almódovar releases 18th feature in Spain

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Almódovar releases 18th feature in Spain

Hitting Spanish theatres today, September 2, is the latest film by La Mancha-born director Pedro Almodóvar, attracting all the media attention of the film world. With his thriller The Skin I Live In [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
, he has once again divided opinions, although the impression is that this debate is more to do with the director himself, undoubtedly Spain’s best-known and most esteemed director abroad, than with the film in question.

Returning to the launch itself, the main new thing about The Skin I Live In, Almodóvar’s eighteenth feature, is the date of September, because up to now he has usually launched his films in springtime. The second half of the year, after a screening at Cannes, was left for distribution in the rest of Europe and worldwide. However, the problem of piracy, which is very prevalent in Spain unfortunately, meant that the producer El Deseo and distributor Warner Bros had to put back the Spanish release and include it in the overall distribution strategy. Thus, for the first time an Almodóvar film was released outside Spain (France, Belgium and the UK at the end of August) before it hit screens here.

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Warner Bros will distribute The Skin I Live In on a 290-print run, which guarantees it significant coverage although not on the same level as the big mega-productions, but nonetheless slightly more than the La Mancha-born director’s previous releases of the last few years (Broken Embraces [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
film profile
]
: 248 prints, Volver [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agustín Almodóvar
interview: Carmen Maura
interview: Pedro Almodóvar
interview: Pénélope Cruz
film profile
]
: 239, Bad Education [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
: 165, Talk To Her [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
: 276, All About My Mother: 186; all distributed by Warner Bros).

After a media bombardment centred on both Almodóvar and the starring couple, Antonio Banderas and Elena Anaya, it remains to be seen what the reaction of audiences will be. Although the director has a legion of staunch fans who will be sure to pass through the box office, his appeal to average viewers has dwindled over the years. Because of the auteur style of his works and the high-powered but not market-saturating launches, his box office results depend to a large extent on word of mouth, which seems to have gradually faded. Since the success of All About My Mother (2.59m viewers in 1999), his films have suffered a continual decline at the box office (Talk To Her, 1.36m in 2002; Bad Education, 1.2m in 2004), with the exception of Volver (1.93m in 2006), and culminating in the disappointing results garnered by Broken Embraces (under 700,000 viewers in 2009).

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(Translated from Spanish)

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