Spain's Fiesta de Cine Draws More Than One Million Movie-Goers

"Captain Phillips" is among the films screening at the fest.

Hard-hit by piracy and a 21 percent sales tax on movie tickets, the nation's film industry looks to the initiative to pull moviegoers back into the theaters.

MADRID - For the fifth consecutive year, Spanish film distributors, exhibitors, and producers banded together to launch the 5th Fiesta de Cine (film fiesta), looking to boost theater attendance and remind moviegoers how they enjoy seeing movies on the big screen.

After one month of open registration for the three-day event, which runs Oct. 21 to 23, more than 1 million people have signed up for the annual movie-going extravaganza, which allows registered guests to see any number of movies they want for the reduced rate of €2.90 ($3.90) per ticket.

More than 320 theaters -- some 2,924 screens -- across Spain, over 90 percent of the market, will participate in the promotion.

Films like Captain Phillips, Gravity, The Butler, Justin and the Sword of Courage, Runner Runner, and Witching and Bitching are in Spanish theaters next week and part of the offer for the Fiesta.

The Spanish Confederation of audiovisual producers (FAPAE), the Federation of Film Distributors (FEDICINE), Cinemas Federation Spain (FECE), and the Culture Ministry's Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) are the official sponsors of the event.

Overall box office earnings are down 13.5 percent at $486 million (360 million euros), with homegrown films earning $55 million (41 million euros), 7 million euros less than the same period in 2012, representing an 18 percent drop, according to official figures presented last month by FAPAE.

The Spanish film industry cornered 11.3 percent of the movie going market, similar to last year at this time. Though last year, Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible was just about to release, buoying the local figure to 19.5 percent by December of 2012.

The Spanish box office fell 15.8 percent, selling 34 million tickets, with 5.9 million of them for domestic fare, approximately a 20 percent drop from last year’s 7.3 million.