In a reversal of fortunes for Spanish films, a musical comedy has become the third-highest grossing local title of this year after just 10 days on release. Meanwhile, continuing a robust trend, a Danish film has kicked Spider-Man off the top spot at the box office, with the fourth-best opening of any film this year in the territory.
The success of Spanish musical comedy The Other Side Of The Bed (El Otro Lado De La Cama) (pictured) is significant considering the very low turnout for local productions so far this year. In the first five months of 2002, Spanish cinema admissions for local films fell a massive 48% from the same period last year.
And as of June 15, Spanish films represented just 11% of domestic box office revenues, but made up 18.5% of films released so far this year. US product, in comparison, represented 73.4% of local admissions with 39.5% of releases.
Buena Vista International Spain (BVIS) opened Bed on July 5 to first weekend ticket sales of Euros 532,399 from 200 copies. That figure was improved upon by 20% in Bed's second weekend to a cumulative gross just shy of Euros 1.6m, shooting the film into third place among top-grossing domestic releases so far this year - behind Pedro Almodovar's Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella) (Euros 5m) and romantic comedy My Mother Likes Women (A Mi Madre Le Gustan Las Mujeres) (Euros 1.84m).
Meanwhile, Denmark saw a home-grown film knock Spider-Man off the top of the box-office chart this week, but unlike in Spain, the trend has been robust for local titles throughout the first half of this year.
Opening on just 69 screens over the July 12 weekend, Lasse Spang Olsen's Old Men In New Cars (Gamle Maend I Nye Biler) (pictured) took a massive three-day total of $497,979 (dkr 3.7m).
This gave the film, which is a prequel to Spang Olsen's 1999 hit In China They Eat Dogs, the fourth highest opening of the year (of any film) behind Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones ($765,409), Spider-Man ($582,388) and another product of the blossoming Danish film industry, Polle Fiction ($577,100).
The local hit joins two other Danish titles in the top five, Humorkort-Stativ-Saelgerens Son (a Danish-German co-production) and Ulvepigen Tinke.
So far this year, Danish films are performing virtually neck-and-neck with last year's bumper crop, which, by the end of the year, delivered the best result for local films for two decades.
However, the situation in France is surprisingly less healthy for the national industry. While total cinema admissions for the first six months of 2002 have increased by 4.4% to nearly 100 million, French films' share of the market fell by 8.6% to 41.4% - compared with last year's local market share of some 50% for the first six months.