Spanish Films Post Record Sales at Box Office for 2014

Pedro Alborenoz

Homegrown fare hit highs in gross revenues, admissions and market share

Spanish films snagged a record high at the domestic box office in 2014 in terms of money earned, tickets sold and market share: 25.5 percent — the best in the 37 years of tracking, according to figures released Dec. 7 by Rentrak Spain.

Spanish films — lead by the surprise hit of the year Spanish Affair — grossed €123 million ($153 million), compared with €119.8 million in 2012, which was the previous high. Spanish films earned 75.3 percent more than in 2013, with an 89 percent leap in tickets sold to 20.8 million in 2014.

"Producers are happy to have found audiences through mainstream films as well as the so-called auteur fare, resulting in a wide range of films and answering to the viewers' different tastes in movies," said FAPAE president Ramon Colom. "These figures justify the need to continue supporting our film industry, an example of a robust industry."

The figures are in part thanks to a bumper crop of local fare. Spanish Affair raked in an astounding €56 million ($69.5 million) and became not only the highest grossing film of 2014, but the all-time highest grossing Spanish film and the second all-time high of any nationality, only behind Avatar.

The romantic comedy was followed by El Nino with €16.2 million ($20 million), Santiago Segura's social phenomenon Torrente 5: Operation EuroVegas with €10.7 million ($13.3 million) and Alberto Rodriguez's Marshland with €6 million ($7.4 million). Javier Fesser's comic-based Mortadelo and Filemon franchise has scored €2.6 million ($3.2 million) with just two weeks in theaters.

"We must continue to build a strong and competitive industry, and all the pieces who are part of it we must push in the same direction," Colom said.

The Spanish industry held two editions of the popular Fiesta de Cine promotion, which helped buoy sales by offering greatly reduced rates for three days in spring and another three days in fall.

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