Fiesta de Cine Helps Boost Spanish Box Office

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
'Dracula Untold'

'Dracula Untold' landed the top spot in Spanish theaters

More than 2.1 million people bought movie tickets from Monday to Wednesday this week, which marked a 38 percent rise in the fall edition of the Fiesta de Cine promotion over last year. Dracula Untold landed the top spot in Spanish theaters.

The ever-popular domestic promotion, which offers moviegoers tickets for €2.90 for three days, is a twice-a-year event, with the fall edition marking a 15 percent rise over this year’s spring edition.

Dracula, distributed by Universal Pictures in Spain, grossed €454,000 ($573,000) from Monday to Wednesday of this week.

Ticket sales in Spain had been dropping over the past few years, but this year’s double whammy of Fiesta de Cine has helped buoy the numbers with a 14 percent rise in tickets sold to 68 million and a 3 percent rise in earnings with €404 million ($510 million) as of Oct. 26.

And the event is only growing in importance. The third and final day of the event, Wednesday, saw more than 904,000 people buy tickets to movies, making it the best day in attendance in more than two years.

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“The Fiesta de Cine is very helpful because it allows people that don’t go often to the movies because of the price, to go,” said Spanish producer Jose Antonio Felez. “It’s good for all the films in theaters, not just Spanish films.”

But this year, the “films in theaters” include a respectable number of Spanish productions that are holding their own at the box office. Of the top 10 films from the Fiesta de Cine, three were Spanish productions.

“The film that benefited the most over the three days was Dracula,” explained Rentrak Spain’s David Rodriguez. 

Felez’s film Marshland, which had sold 600,000 tickets prior to the Fiesta de Cine, had earned some €4.5 million and was still going strong, thanks in part to a well-crafted release by Warner Bros. Spain.

“The Fiesta de Cine can give the film an added push in its fifth week in theaters,” Felez explained.

A Spanish Affair, with €56 million, heads the list of Spanish hits, followed by El Nino and Torrente, but according to Rodriguez, there are at least two heavy hitters coming up: the final installment of the [Rec] horror franchise opening this coming weekend and Javier Fesser’s 3D Mortadelo & Filemon Contra Jimmy el Cachondo set for late November.

In fact, Mortadelo leveraged off the Fiesta de Cine by timing its first trailer to screen in the packed theaters as a spot featuring the Fiesta de Cine.

“We did it as a joke, using the characters, making a mock-up, dubbing it and playing it up as an ad for the Fiesta de Cine. Warners liked it and decided to use it. They put it in all the theaters,” Mortadelo producer Francisco Ramos said. “And of course, it is also good promotion for our film, which doesn’t release until November, but everyone got a fun glimpse.”

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