Bigger-than-ever Torrente ready to take Spanish box office by storm
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
The always-excessive Torrente is the big star in Spanish theatres this week, with the release of Santiago Segura’s Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis [+see also:
film profile]. Everything is bigger in this film – that includes a bigger budget of €10m, greater technical resources (it was filmed in 3D), more prints distributed (666 prints for 855 theatres, including 55% in 3D) and more cameos by famous actors (they’ve been used as a promotional weapon from the start of the production phase).
Like the previous instalments, Torrente 4 is associated almost exclusively with the volcanic personality of Segura, who wrote, directed, produced and stars in it. That’s not to mention the very intense promotional campaign. Segura’s company Amiguetes Entertainment produced the film in collaboration with Antena 3 Films (which is well-placed to repeat the successes of 2010).
The character of Torrente first appeared in 1998 in Torrente: The Dumb Arm of the Law, which became a mass phenomenon. It also won critical acclaim and nabbed two Goya awards. The films starring this sexist, fascist, homophobic, racist ex-cop and fan of Atlético Madrid parody Spanish people’s darker side in a politically incorrect way.
Although audiences continued to show massive enthusiasm, the next two instalments were unanimously slated by critics – Torrente 2: Mission In Marbella (2001), the third highest-grossing Spanish film in history, behind Alejandro Amenábar’s The Others, and J.A. Bayona’s The Orphanage [+see also:
film profile]; and Torrente 3: The Protector (2005).
The Torrente series is undoubtedly the most successful in Spanish film history, with box office takings totalling €51.2m (€10.9m, €22.14m and €18.2m, respectively). The enormous interest generated by the fourth instalment, the omnipresent promotional campaign, undoubtedly helped by the huge media presence guaranteed by Antena 3, and the novelty of 3D (which also brings higher takings per viewer) make Torrente 4 a safe box office bet for Spanish cinema, which really needs a hit like this.
(Translated from Spanish)
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