'Torrente 4' Boosts Spanish Film Presence in Box-Office Receipts

Ticket sales have increased 21% in the first quarter of the year, compared to 8.13% in the same period last year.

MADRID – Led by box office success Santiago Segura’s Torrente 4, Spanish films have seen their slice of ticket sales balloon to 21 percent of box office takings in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 8.13% from the same period last year.

Spanish producers’ lobby FAPAE’s president, Pedro Perez, announced the figures at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival Monday, emphasizing the 35.5 million euros ($50 million) earned thus far this year by homegrown fare is a 134 percent leap from the 15.16 million euros ($21.2 million) from the first three months of 2010.

Even without Torrente and its 17.1 million euros ($24 million) in sales -- which Perez called “overwhelming” -- Spanish cinema’s revenues grew 22 percent.

The news is particularly noteworthy given the overall drop in ticket sales — 20 million euros ($38 million) compared to last year’s 26 million ($36 million), a 24 percent fall.

While the figures seemed to inspire optimism for 2011 — particularly given Pedro Almodovar is due to release his The Skin I Live In in September — the fact that Spain still has an indigestible quantity of domestic films plagues the industry. Of the 201 films produced in 2010—66 of which are documentaries — 63 have not been released.