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BOX OFFICE Spain

Disappointing year for Spanish film

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Disappointing year for Spanish film

Spanish film has once again suffered some very poor box office results in 2008. The end-of-the-year figures are slightly better than the disappointing 2007 results, but remain well below the expectations generated during the first quarter of the year, when everything pointed to a dramatic upturn.

At that time, the market share for domestic film shot up to 23.7% (compared to 13.5% in 2007), but the situation has unfortunately returned to normal, with a market share of 14.7% on November 16, 2008.

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According to data published by the Ministry of Culture, up to November 16 Spanish films had attracted almost 13.4m viewers, while the total figure for 2007 was just under 15.7m. Everything suggests that the final results for 2008 will be similar to those of 2007, but not as high as those of previous years (18.77m in 2006 and 21.29m in 2005).

The box office phenomenon of The Orphanage [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
– which drew 4,275,000 viewers against all expectations – was not repeated.

On the positive side, it should be noted that, unlike in 2007, when only two films exceeded 1m admissions (The Orphanage and REC [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza
interview: Julio Fernández
film profile
]
), this year five titles achieved this feat, led by The Oxford Murders [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Álex de la Iglesia
interview: Gerardo Herrero and Mariela…
film profile
]
and Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission - Save the Planet [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. However, for the first time in six years, no film surpassed the 2m admissions mark.

Of greater concern is audiences’ lack of confidence in Spanish films, besides the five top titles, which account for almost 46% of admissions. There were some spectacular box office flops, including Javier Fesser’s Camino [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(“Path”), which screened in competition at the San Sebastian Film Festival (190,827 viewers); Agustín Díaz-Yanes’ Sólo quiero caminar [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(“I Just Want To Walk”, 173,703); Oscar-winning director José Luis Garci’s Sangre de Mayo (“Blood of May”, 122,083); and Juan Cavestany’s Gente de mala calidad [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(“Bad Quality People”, 74,661).

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(Translated from Spanish)

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