Spanish cinema triumphs at home; Almodóvar does well in US
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
17/10/2011 - Last Friday’s launch of Sleep Tight [trailer], another of the heavyweight Spanish film releases for this fourth quarter of the year, has continued the successful streak enjoyed by domestic productions in the line-up in recent weeks. Although it didn’t manage to outstrip US flick Contagion, this week’s number one, the terrifying thriller by Jaume Balagueró, who created the [Rec] [trailer, film focus] saga with Paco Plaza, achieved a very worthy second position.
Moreover, Sleep Tight has received highly positive reviews and the response from audiences seems to indicate that it will generate enough word-of-mouth to enjoy popular success over several weeks. The extraordinary staying power of Spanish releases is the most striking aspect of the Spanish box office, whose overall performance is below its average in recent years.
Indeed, both Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s Intruders [trailer, film focus], with almost €2.5m in ten days, and above all Enrique Urbizu’s No Rest for the Wicked [trailer], with approximately €3m in 24 days, have seen slight drops (Urbizu’s crime thriller fell by only 4% last week), in clear contrast with the exhibition model for big mega-productions, based on maximising box-office takings in the first two or three weeks.
Meanwhile, the results of the US release of Pedro Almodóvar’s latest feature, The Skin I Live In [trailer, film focus], confirm the success of its launch campaign model, in which Spain is one of the strongest territories (€4.2m and counting) but by no means the only one (so far it has amassed €14m in total, with many countries where it has still to be released). The limited US launch, in only six theatres and with an impressive per-screen average of $38,500, is the best release for an Almodóvar film in the North American country.
(Translated from Spanish)