Country Focus: Spain
Spanish box-office loses almost half of its audience over nine years
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
- While waiting for official data from the ICAA, which will arrive later this year, provisional numbers from Rentrak show the cinema industry almost completely crumbled over the course of 2013. We say “almost” because if there was a beneficiary, it was the Spanish inland revenue who, thanks to tax increases, collected more than it has ever done.
According to the data, the total amount of money made is €508 million, over €100 million less than in 2012 (when it was €614 million) with less than 80 million spectators. But despite the 2013 results, the Spanish box-office trend comes from further afield. Since 2004, Spanish cinemas have lost over €180 million, and more significantly still, 60 million spectators.
Spanish cinema, the orphan of box-office hits including The Impossible [+see also:
interview: Juan Antonio Bayona
film profile] and Torrente [+see also:
film profile], had few good results in 2013. Only a few films saved themselves from drowning: Mamá [+see also:
film profile] (€7.5 million), Zipi y Zape y el Club de la Canica [+see also:
film profile] (€5 million), I’m So Excited [+see also:
film profile] (€4.8 milioni), Las brujas de Zugarramurdi [+see also:
interview: Alex de la Iglesia
film profile] (€4.7 million) and Tres bodas de más [+see also:
interview: Javier Ruiz Caldera
film profile] (€4.3 million). With this, the market is around 13%, 6.5 points behind the previous year.
Curiously, one entity will greatly profit in the midst of this disaster: the Spanish state, which will collect around €85 million as a direct tax on tickets sold. In 2004, when the box-office made €691 million, the Spanish treasury made €51.3 million. This means that despite the dire state of Spanish cinema and the negative impacts it brings with it, including the effective destruction from within of an industry together with a form of cultural expression, the Spanish state has collected more money, not less, from the cinema industry. The cause clearly can be accredited to an increase in taxation from 8% to 21%.