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BOX OFFICE Portugal

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A Canção de Lisboa is the most watched Portuguese film of 2016

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- A total of 25 local feature-length titles reached screens over the last 12 months. Only 3 of them racked up over 20,000 admissions

A Canção de Lisboa is the most watched Portuguese film of 2016
A Canção de Lisboa by Pedro Varela

With two weeks to go until the end of the year, it is already possible to see provisional 2016 box office data released by Portugal’s film body, the ICA, which charts the performance of both local and international films over the last 12 months.

The general chart of all released titles is, as in previous years, dominated by US titles, with The Secret Life of Pets by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney in first place with a total of 603,009 admissions (€2,978,393 grossed).

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The first European production is in 18th place in the general chart – and the European film with most admissions of 2016 also happens to be the most successful Portuguese release of the year. Premiered in July, Pedro Varela’s third part of the New Classics trilogy, A Canção de Lisboa [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, attracted 187,341 people and grossed €943,708. That said, this figure is much lower than the one achieved by the trilogy’s first instalment – Leonel Vieira’s The Courtyard of the Ballads [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– which got 607,776 admissions and grossed €3,098,818 in 2015.

A total of 25 new Portuguese titles hit Portuguese theatres in 2016 – 14 fictional feature-length titles and 11 documentaries. After A Canção de Lisboa, the Portuguese release chart places another comedy in second place: O Amor é Lindo... Porque Sim! by Vicente Alves do Ó, which started as a project in Lisbon-based school APFACT and grew to conquer nearly 32,000 viewers and gross almost €149,000.

Both A Canção de Lisboa andO Amor é Lindo... Porque Sim! were produced without public support with well-defined marketing strategies targeting larger audiences, and were shown in big multiplexes across country.

One of the most awaited Portuguese productions of the year, Ivo M Ferreira’s Letters From War [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Ivo M Ferreira
film profile
]
, hit cinemas in September – benefiting from a good post-Berlinale buzz – and attracted nearly 22,000 viewers.

All the other titles in the Top 10 of Portuguese releases received less than 12,000 admissions: Luis Galvão Teles’ comedy Refrigerantes e Canções de Amor [+see also:
trailer
interview: Victória Guerra
film profile
]
(11.811 viewers – €56,900), Patrícia Sequeira’s debut feature Game of Checkers [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(6,973 viewers – €31,537), Nuno Rocha’s debut feature Mother Knows Better [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which premiered two weeks ago and is expected to pull in higher numbers than those achieved so far (4,812 viewers – €21,431), Fonseca e Costa’s swan song Axilas [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(4,651 viewers – €18,276), João Pedro RodriguesThe Ornithologist [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: João Pedro Rodrigues
film profile
]
(4,057 viewers – €18,386), Luís Filipe Rocha’s Grey and Black [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(2,310 viewers – €7,453), and João Nicolau’s John From [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(1,715 viewers – €6,585).

Some of the titles initially scheduled for release in the last quarter of 2016 have been postponed until 2017, like Teresa Villaverde’s Colo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Teresa Villaverde
film profile
]
, which will premiere in competition at the upcoming Berlinale, and Marco Martins’ Venice-awarded title Saint George [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Marco Martins
film profile
]
, which will be released in theatres in March. Other titles in store include Alves do Ó’s Al Berto [+see also:
film review
interview: Vicente Alves do Ó
film profile
]
, and Zeus by Paulo Filipe Monteiro, which premieres in January 2017.

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