Spanish films hit six-year low


MADRID -- Not one Spanish film has managed to break into the top 25 boxoffice spots halfway through 2007, marking a six-year nadir in Spanish cinema, according to figures made public this week by the Spanish Culture Ministry's Film Institute.

In the first six months of the year, Spanish cinema snagged just 7.18% of boxoffice revenue, compared with 15.86% for the same period in 2005 and 9.43% in 2006. About 3.7 million moviegoers have purchased tickets for Spanish films out of a total 45.8 million tickets sold.

Unlike in previous years, 2007 has yet to release a locomotive for the industry, such as Pedro Almodovar's "Volver," Agustin Diaz Yanes' "Alatriste" or Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth," which all premiered last year.

So far, the top Spanish film is Filmax's "The Hairy Tooth Fairy," which has earned €2.14 million ($2.9 million) to date.

Spanish cinema has earned €19.3 million ($26.3 million) in 2007, just €4 million more than the top-grossing film, "Spider-Man 3."

Meanwhile, U.S. films have set new boxoffice opening-weekend records. "Spider-Man 3" has earned €15.8 million ($21.5 million), followed by "300" with €14.3 million ($19.5 million), "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" with €13.1 million ($17.8 million) and "Night at the Museum" at €12.5 million ($17 million).