Alex de la Iglesia's $10m English-language thriller The Oxford Murders was released by Warner Bros Spain on January 18 and has notched up $12.5m to date. Warner Bros built on the Spanish director's local following and the strength of the cast led by Elijah Wood and John Hurt.
Wide Pictures, run by former head of Manga Films Luis De Val, has put together an impressive debut. It includes James Gray's Cannes Competition title Two Lovers starring Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow, Barry Levinson's What Just Happened' starring Robert De Niro, John Hillcoat's The Road starring Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Lee's Fireflies In The Garden starring Julia Roberts, and 3:10 To Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. The latter will be the first film Wide will release in July. At Cannes, Wide signed a physical distribution deal with Filmax. 'It was fundamental that to achieve success we place the films in the hands of the best company, and that is Filmax,' De Val explains.
The El Escorial Conspiracy (SPRI)
Release date: September 2008
Julia Ormond, Jason Isaacs and Jordi Molla star in this true historical tale of skulduggery at King Philip II's palace in 16th century Spain. Directed by Antonio del Real, the $22.3m Spanish-language project is a co-production between Mascara Films (owned by del Real), Germany's Rheingold Films, Italy's Settima Luna and Portugal's MGN Filmes.
Total Box Office Jan 4-June 1, 2008 - $347m
Number of sites 2008 - 667
Market share of local films 2008 - 14.4%