Country Focus: Portugal
First half of 2010 brings 14.7% increase over 2009
by Vitor Pinto
02/08/2010 - The first half of 2010 brought positive box office results in Portuguese theatres, for a total of 7,800,309 admissions and just over €38m grossed. These figures represent a 14.7% increase over the same period in 2009, according to the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual (ICA). This is good news mainly for US productions, as most local titles are still fighting for audiences.
The combination of the economic crisis and the World Cup was not enough to keep audiences from theatres. Moviegoers were particularly open to the charms of 3D titles Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, which grossed €4,511,688 and €2,847,296 respectively. The top 10 is dominated by US titles, with two UK/US co-productions emerging in the fifth (Robin Hood [trailer]) and seventh (Sherlock Holmes [trailer]) positions.
In terms of the domestic Top 10, director António-Pedro Vasconcelos and actress Soraia Chaves in A Bela e o Paparazzo repeated the success of their previous collaboration, Call Girl [trailer] (2007), to be the top local film of the year so far. The comedy about a TV star (Chaves) who falls in love a with a celebrity photographer (Marco D'Almeida) sold nearly 100,000 tickets and grossed €434,953.
The second most-seen local title was Telmo Martins’ bittersweet feature debut Um Funeral à Chuva, which follows the lives of a group of friends who meet for the funeral of an old schoolmate. Produced without the support of the national film institute, and enjoying good buzz in the local press, Um Funeral grossed €42,320.
Both A Bela e o Paparazo and Um Funeral were theatrically distributed by Zon Lusomundo Audiovisuais.
Documentaries Pare, Escute e Olhe by Jorge Pelicano (distribution: CLMC Multimédia), Fantasia Lusitana by João Canijo (Midas Filmes) and Ruínas by Manuel Mozos (O Som e a Fúria) follow in the local rankings. All three together, however, have not grossed €50,000.