Spain b.o. down, but better than first reported

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MADRID -- Turns out Spanish boxoffice figures aren't quite so glum as thought.

Culture officials here have made a major revision to the 2007 film attendance figures first released two months ago, saying that only 5 million fewer tickets were sold last year, rather than the 20 million initially reported.

"Our new figures show that there were 116 million admits in 2007 instead of the 102 million we originally reported in January," a Culture Ministry spokesman said told The Hollywood Reporter.

In 2006, there were 121 million tickets sold.

The spokesman argued that the statistics reported in January had been preliminary, though the ministry did not say so at the time.

"The problem was that, when we released the January figures, not all the movie theaters had reported their attendance figures," he said. "Some theaters are not computerized and didn't give us their full count then."

But the new attendance count still underlines a worrying trend for Spanish exhibitors: It was the third year in row of declining film attendance.

The ministry added that, according to its new statistics, the Spanish thriller "The Orphanage" was the top-grossing film in 2007. That upends "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," which had been reported as the boxoffice champ in January.

"The Orphanage" racked up 24.2 million euros ($37.3 million), while the Johnny Depp blockbuster was in second place, having earned 3.2 million euros ($35.8 million).

Total ticket sales stood at 639 million euros ($985 million) last year, up 4.5% from 636 million euros in 2006, the ministry said.

Foreign films took in 553.6 million euros ($853.2 million) and Spanish films earned 85.4 million euros ($131.6 million), the ministry said.
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