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RELEASES Spain

Amenábar's Hypatia prepares to take box office by storm

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Amenábar's Hypatia prepares to take box office by storm

Today, Alejandro Amenábar’s historical mega-production Agora [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, presented at the latest Cannes Film Festival (see review), confidently sets out to conquer the Spanish box office, thanks to its impressive promotional campaign, which has made it a daily presence for Spaniards in recent days, and Hispano Foxfilms’ 470-print run, making it this year’s biggest Spanish release.

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Amenábar is one of the few (not to say the only) Spanish filmmakers whose success doesn’t arouse the scepticism of audiences, who are quick to criticise the very artists they previously put on pedestals (e.g., Pedro Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz). However, the director’s change of register, with his extravagant production (whose €50m budget is very high in the midst of a crisis), a historical reconstruction branded by many critics as overly cerebral, could cost him dear.

Despite this, Amenábar has so far been synonymous with success and everything seems to indicate that Agora will be no exception. Moreover, Monday is a bank holiday across Spain and, to improve the film’s chances even more, there are no First Division football matches.

This is good news for Spanish cinema, which is in need of some success after an unexpectedly disappointing first semester. However, there are many reasons to be optimistic, after last week’s release of [Rec]2 [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which immediately became the biggest Spanish box office hit of the year, ahead of Sex, Party and Lies [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, with €2.2m in takings. The film should continue to perform well for several weeks (the first instalment enjoyed a long run, after increasing box office earnings fivefold in its first weekend).

This week, it’s Agora’s turn. Before the end of the year, Spanish theatres will also see the release of animated mega-production Planet 51 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which is sure to be a hit; and several promising titles, including Me Too [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Spanish Movie, Cell 211 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Daniel Monzón
film profile
]
and After [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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