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Spanish international box office exceeds domestic for fourth year

Spanish films made more at the international box office than domestically, according to a report released at the annual Madrid de Cine.

Pedro Pérez, president of Spanish producers association FAPE, said it was the fourth consecutive year that Spanish films had collected more box office takings outside of the country’s borders.

International takings were $200m in 2012 compared with $157m in Spain.

The data was collected by FAPAE, Rentrak and the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The number of Spanish films exhibited internationally rose to 28.2% and the amount of prints distributed grew by 57.7%.

Italy screened the most Spanish films (37) while the biggest box office takings were in Mexico, which generated $23.6m from Spanish movies.

The FAPAE-Rentrak award for the most successful Spanish film abroad went to the producers of tsunami drama The Impossible:  Enrique Lavigne and Belén Atienza for Apaches Entertainment and Ghislain Barrois and Alvaro Agustín for TeleCinco.

English-language co-productions proved lucrative for the Spanish film industry.

The widest released titles of 2012 were:

  • The Impossible (39 territories)
  • To Rome With Love (38)
  • Carnage (28)
  • Red Lights (22)
  • REC 3 (16)
  • The Skin I Live In (16)
  • The Chef (16)

At the press conference, Rentrak Spain president Arturo Guillén confirmed a 20% drop in cinema attendance in 2012.

Last weekend proved the worst to date, with attendances totalling just 347,000.

Since 2001, attendance at Spanish cinemas has plummeted by nearly 50 and this year is expected to be the worst yet.

The number of Spanish films shooting is also decreasing. This year, just 43 films went into production - down 26% from last year.

The press conference was held during the eighth Madrid de Cine-Spanish Film Screenings.

The three-day event, held in Madrid, is attended by 69 international buyers from 54 companies and more than 35 international media.

A total of 39 Spanish films will be screened, 14 of them for the first time in an international market.

They also include nine world premieres such as Inside Love, a romantic thriller with Eduardo Noriega directed by Santiago Tabernero; fantastical thriller New York Shadows, by Juan Pinzás; and contemporary satire Collateral Love, by Cristina Freixas.

International buyers will get a first look at social drama Ali, directed by Paco R. Baños, and Inevitable, a co-production with Argentina directed by Jorge Algora with Federico Luppi.

High profile titles to be screened include action thriller Combustion, already sold by Vicente Canales’ Film Factory to 30 territories; urban tragicomedy A Gun in each Hand, by Cesc Gay; and family drama 15 Years and a Day, by Gracia Querejeta, which is proving a hit at the Spanish box office.

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