Spanish Films Break Box-Office Record

"Spanish Affair"
"Spanish Affair"
 Pedro Alborenoz

MADRID – Spanish films snagged a record 27 percent of the local box office so far in 2014, skyrocketing 94.2 percent in sales from the same period in 2013, according to Rentrak Spain.

The figures, as of April 20, compare to a 15.6 percent share last year.

The remarkable rise, including a 128 percent leap in tickets sold, can be attributed in large part to the social phenomenon of Emilio Martinez Lazaro’s Spanish Affair (Ocho apellidos vascos), which broke Spanish records to become the fastest-growing Spanish hit ever and the fourth-highest-grossing behind Avatar, The Impossible and Titanic.

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"[Spanish Affair] is marking a change in many ways within the industry," said Ramon Colom, the president of the Spanish Producers' lobby FAPAE. “We are very happy with the way the film is working. It's a pleasure to see that cinema is finding its audience."

The comedy, which features a young man from Spain's southern Andalucian region wooing a young woman from the northern Basque region, has sold 6.9 million tickets after six weeks in theaters.

REVIEW: 'Spanish Affair' (Ocho apellidos vascos)

FAPAE also credited initiatives offering deep discounts to attract moviegoers back to theaters -- like the Fiesta del Cine or the Wednesdays at the Movies -- for boosting the figures.

"[Those events] have been well received by audiences and, once again, show that cooperation among the different elements of the industry is the path to take," Colom said.

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