Daniel Monzón repeats the Cell 211 miracle... for now
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
- El niño has got off to a spectacular start; thanks to its €2.91 million in takings, it has become the best Spanish opening so far this year
Director Daniel Monzón has done it again, at least for now. Five years after the monumentally successful Cell 211 [+see also:
interview: Daniel Monzón
film profile], the release of his new piece of work, El niño [+see also:
interview: Daniel Monzón
film profile], has become the best Spanish opening this year, taking €2.91 million and enticing 430,000 viewers. These figures place it above the impressive opening enjoyed by the comedy Spanish Affair [+see also:
film profile], by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro, although the key strength of the latter was its amazing (and once-in-a-lifetime) stamina week after week.
El niño is a Vaca Films and Ikiru Films production, distributed by Hispano Fox Film; it also had the invaluable support of Telecinco Cinema as co-producer and financial backer, and as a highly influential force within the media. The impressive TV marketing campaign led by the film arm of the channel owned by the Mediaset group was fundamental in ensuring that El niño found its way into half of the homes in Spain, as happened at the time with The Impossible [+see also:
interview: Juan Antonio Bayona
film profile], Agora [+see also:
film profile], Spanish Affair and Cell 211.
Last Friday’s release of Monzón’s new movie was unbeatable, raking in €1.1 million. The rest of the weekend – which saw some very good weather, the end of the summer holidays and the return to work – did not live up to the expectations created on the first day. Nevertheless, the excellent word-of-mouth generated and the positive reviews, together with its aura of top-quality cinema, seem likely to guarantee a good, sustained performance over the next few weeks.
The story, written by Monzón together with Jorge Guerricaechevarría, is set in the world of drug-trafficking in the Strait of Gibraltar, where two continents and three countries are separated by a mere 14 kilometres. It stars Luis Tosar, the young revelation of an actor Jesús Castro (whose character gives the film its title), Sergi López, Eduard Fernández, Bárbara Lennie and British actor Ian McShane.
(Translated from Spanish)
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