'The Impossible' Sweeps Past 'Titanic' at Spain Box Office

"The Impossible"

Director Juan Antonio Bayona's drama has sold more than 5.6 million tickets and grossed 40 million euros in less than two months in theaters.

MADRID -- After leaping into Spanish history as the country's all-time highest-grossing domestic film, Juan Antonio Bayona's intense post-tsunami drama The Impossible -- with 5.6 million tickets sold -- has now passed the box-office earnings of James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster Titanic.

Since its Oct. 11 release and following five consecutive weeks at No. 1 in the national standings, Bayona's hyper-realistic depiction of the 2004 tsunami that swept Thailand has snagged 40 million euros at the box office.

Cameron's Avatar still sits ahead of the pack with 6 million tickets sold and 50.4 million euros earned in Spain.

Distributed in Spain by Warner Bros. Pictures, The Impossible stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor and is set for release in the U.S. on Dec. 21 through Summit Entertainment, which came onto the project in its early stages.

Produced by Belen Atienza and Enrique Lopez Lavigne's Apaches Entertainment and Telecinco Cinema, the film branch of media giant Mediaset Espana, The Impossible has become a social phenomenon in Spain and a must for moviegoers. Telecinco has aggressively marketed the movie.

Meanwhile, the film is No. 1 in Thailand, and in France, it stands just behind the Twilight franchise closer Breaking Dawn: Part 2 two weeks into its release.

Spanish cinema holds a 17.1 percent slice of the domestic market, two percentage points better than last year at this time, according to the Spanish producers' federation FAPAE.