Spain looks set to break the world record for sustained admissions growth if predictions come true and cumulative ticket sales rise for the thirteenth year in a row.
Spain had posted over 123 million admissions as of November 25, still trailing the 2000's total of 135 million, but not yet incorporating major releases such as Harry Potter (Nov 30) or The Lord Of The Rings (Dec 19).
Indeed, Cinesa, the main Spanish exhibitor of Lord Of The Rings, has already pre-sold 10,000 seats for the film's opening day and may have to add new screens to meet demand.
The figures, released by Spain's Ministry for Education, Culture and Sports, follow an October 2001 report by Screen Digest which showed that Spain's 12 successive years of annual growth in ticket sales matched a record set by Australia in 1999 but not continued in 2000.
Domestic films are also enjoying a surge in admissions in Spain this year, cornering almost 19% of the market after last year's paltry 10% share. The local boost is thanks to the year's two top-grossing films: Alejandro Amenabar's The Others (a Warner Sogefilms release) and Santiago Segura's Torrente 2: Mission In Marbella (Torrente 2: Mision En Marbella) (Lolafilms Distribucion).
Spain had the highest growth rate in admissions (17%) anywhere in the EU between 1998 and 1999. It currently has the lowest average ticket prices in all of Europe bar Portugal.