The Spanish department of culture unveiled the results on the same day the Spanish government announced a rise in VAT on cinema tickets.
The same day the Spanish government announced an enormous budget cut of public spend and higher taxes, the department of culture announced a decline of 2% in admissions in 2011 compared with 2010. 98.34 million tickets were sold, 60 million viewers less than in 2001 when figures reached their peak since the beginning of the decade with 146 million tickets sold. According to Rentrak, 2012 is not faring any better, with a loss of 12% in admissions in the first quarter.
However Spanish market share increased in 2011 to 15.59%, 3% more than in than in 2010, thanks partly to the success of Torrente 4, the highest grossing film of the year with $23.5m.
Other Spanish success stories included Spanish co-production Midnight in Paris ($9.7m), Brain Drain 2 ($6.1m), The Skin I Live In ($5.5m), No Rest for the Wicked ($4.9m), Also theRain ($4.8m) and Cousinhood ($4.3m).
Hollywood films enjoyed a 69% market share in Spain in 2011, with the only non US films in the top 25 being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 ($23m), The King’s Speech ($12.2m) and Torrente 4. The most watched foreign films were Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ($23m), the last installment of the Twilight saga ($23.05m), Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn (21.5), Puss with Boots ($17.1m) and Planet of the Apes ($17m).
The top distributor in Spain in 2011 was Warner Bros, taking $130m followed by Paramount Spain ($104m), Sony ($90m), Hispano Fox Film ($88m), Walt Disney ($82m), Universal ($69.5m), Aurum ($69m), Alta Classics ($29.2m), DeaPlaneta ($27.5m) and TriPictures ($23.9m).
Meanwhile, the new anti crisis plan announced by the Government today is expected to have an immediate effect on cinemas, with VAT on tickets increasing from 8% to 21%.
Pedro Pérez, president of the FAPAE, has asked the industry to assume the loss of money and not increase prices: “I think that cinema goers should not pay for that”.
The FECE, the association of exhibitors that represents 80% of business, said in a statement that the rise was a “a big mistake for the cinema industry and one more step to the closing of cinemas. The biggest problem in Spain is the destruction of its companies to a point that will be difficult to restitute in the future”.
The FECE also attacked the government for not putting the anti piracy act, active since spring, into effect more strongly, saying that it is not confronting “disloyal competence”. It concludes that the V.A.T. increase will lead to the “stagnation or disappearance of many companies”.