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BOX OFFICE Spain

2018 once again sees Spanish films gross over €100 million at the local box office

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- There has been cautious enthusiasm after the publication of the box-office takings achieved by Spanish titles on their home turf, with Champions emerging as the top scorer

2018 once again sees Spanish films gross over €100 million at the local box office
Champions by Javier Fesser

A few days ago, the Spanish Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (part of the Ministry of Culture and Sports) published the chart of the most successful titles released in cinemas in 2018, and one of the standout home-grown features was Champions [+see also:
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, a dramedy by Javier Fesser starring Javier Gutiérrez and a group of young disabled people, which raked in €19 million after 3.3 million paying customers went to see it. This smash hit – which benefited from promotional support from TVE, the movie’s co-producer, and which, according to ICAA CEO Beatriz Navas, “thanks to its huge impact helps raise awareness about a reality that is not usually portrayed on the screen” – gave the national annual box-office takings a real boost, helping them to reach €103,808,053, up slightly on the 2017 figure of €102.97 million. Therefore, although there was much rejoicing at having once again exceeded the €100 million threshold, the increase itself is certainly nothing to write home about.

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Up on the podium of the biggest box-office draws, Champions is followed by Superlópez [+see also:
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, which depicts the adventures of the titular Spanish hero and was adapted for the big screen from the comic by Javier Ruiz Caldera (€9.3 million and 1.5 million viewers so far, as it is still on the cinema listings), and Perfect Strangers [+see also:
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, a remake of the Italian success of the same name, courtesy of Álex de la Iglesia, which was released in late 2017 and continued pulling in audiences in 2018: it notched up 1.2 million viewers, grossing €8 million. All in all, 17,625,480 tickets were sold for Spanish movies in the year just gone, thus securing the national film industry a market share of 17.5%, as opposed to the 67% held by US titles. The most-seen film overall in Spain last year was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, helmed by Barcelona-born Juan Antonio Bayona.

In total, 97.7 million viewers flocked to the dark rooms in Spain last year, generating overall takings of €585.7 million. “Without a doubt, during this period, the way in which people watch audiovisual productions has become more diverse, and the sudden emergence of platforms has had a huge impact, but the audience is seeing more audiovisual content than ever, and this should bring people back to the theatres, as is happening in other countries,” continued Navas.

In the premiere league of the Spanish titles that grossed the most on their home turf, the aforementioned titles are followed by El mejor verano de mi vida [+see also:
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, in fourth place, raking in almost €8 million at the box office; The Tribe [+see also:
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, a comedy directed by Fernando Colomo, which grossed just over €6 million; Sara’s Notebook [+see also:
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, with €5.2 million; Yucatán [+see also:
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by Daniel Monzón, with €5 million; Sin rodeos [+see also:
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, the latest comedy to be helmed by Santiago Segura, with €4.5 million; Los Futbolísimos [+see also:
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by Miguel Ángel Lamata, which earned over €3 million; and Everybody Knows [+see also:
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, a co-production by Morena Films with France and Italy, which just surpassed the €3 million mark.

As 2019 gets under way, Spanish cinema remains optimistic, as a number of new opuses by directors used to garnering a high degree of approval are set to hit screens soon: on 22 March, Pedro Almodóvar will release Pain & Glory [+see also:
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interview: Antonio Banderas
Q&A: Pedro Almodóvar
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, and after the summer, Alejandro Amenábar will be ready to show off Mientras dure la guerra (see the news). Other Spanish titles that may well cause a stir in the coming months are Eye for an Eye [+see also:
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by Paco Plaza, Legado en los huesos (the second instalment in the literary Baztán Trilogy) by Fernando González Molina, Padre no hay más que uno by Santiago Segura and the comedy Los Japón, starring Dani Rovira, an actor who continues to prove that he enjoys great popularity among Spanish audiences.

(Translated from Spanish)

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