Spanish films' share of the domestic box office dipped below 10% in the ten months between January and October 2000 according to the Spanish Institute for Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA). This compares to a 14% market share for domestic product at the end of 1999.
The ICAA found that local product grossed $35m (PTS6,506m) during Jan-Oct, which means it has a long way to go to catch up with last year's tally. During 1999 as a whole, Spanish films took $72.1m (PTS11,537m) on home turf.
As always, foreign - and particularly US - films dominate the Spanish box office, boasting a 90% market share through October 2000, with $330m (PTS61,067m) in ticket sales on 1,253 titles exhibited. Leading the pack were blockbuster US titles The Sixth Sense, Gladiator, American Beauty and Mission Impossible 2.
To give an example of the challenge Spanish films face in their own territory, The Sixth Sense grossed more in two weeks than local sensation All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) earned in 49 weeks on the charts.
The latest ICAA figures do not reflect the batch of Spanish releases from late October and early November which have done well at the box office, including David Trueba comedy Masterpiece (Obra Maestra), Jose Luis Garci's Oscar-nominated You're The One, and Jorge Sanz-starrer Almejas Y Mejillones. They do, however, include top Spanish grossers Ano Mariano, The Art Of Dying (El Arte De Morir) and Commonwealth (La Comunidad).
Producers and distributors in Spain have their hopes pinned on forthcoming releases such as Lolafilms' English-language offerings That Girl From Rio and Gaudi Afternoon, and Jaime Chavarri's Kisses For Everyone (Besos Para Todos) from Sogecine.