Spain Sets Box Office Record for Domestic Films

The Impossible Tom Holland Close Up - H 2012
Summit Entertainment

International growth has in recent years been a key focus for Hollywood conglomerates, but industry CEOs have reported challenges in Western Europe, particularly Southern countries, in 2012. Analysts have spoken of a growing North-South divide with advertising weakness in such countries as Spain, Italy, Greece and France, which has hit TV networks. But sluggish economies and austerity packages also were major blows to box office revenues in Southern Europe.

With a few days left in the year, ticket sales for Spanish releases have earned $140 million and are on track for a 27-year-high in market share.

MADRID - Spanish movies have already set a one-year box office record in Spain and could reach their highest domestic box office share in 27 years.

Domestic releases had a market share of 17.9 percent as of Christmas Day, according to Rentrak Spain.

With $140 million (106 million euros), a box office record for Spanish films, and some 40 percent of the tickets sold in the past three months in Spain, homegrown films have revitalized a limp sector. The strong outing of homegrown fare is partly due to the smashing success of Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible late this year.

Even if the market share figure were to nudge down by year's end to 17.8 percent, it would still come in as the best performance in 11 years.

The positive trends contrast to the country's broader box office downturn. So far, Spain has experienced a 6 percent drop in box office admissions this year.

"Every year in every territory, there are films that act as motors that help boost earnings," Spanish Producers Federation (FAPAE) president Pedro Perez said.

In 2012, Spain had three domestic titles that crossed the milestone of 1 million tickets sold: The Impossible, Tad the Lost Explorer and I Want You.

Perez congratulated the Spanish film industry for its record-breaking pace and highlighted "the important role that broadcasters have had in the production and especially the promotion of films." That was a reference to the fact that Impossible and Tad are Telecinco co-productions and I Want You was produced by rival broadcaster Antena 3.