Spanish cinema fared better abroad than at home in 2011, grossing $235m internationally, twice as much as in the local market.

“They love us more abroad than in our own country”, Pedro Pérez, president of FAPAE (producers association) concluded at a press breakfast aimed at unveiling the results of Spanish cinema off frontiers.

2011 was a strong year for Spanish cinema internationally thanks, partly, to the great success of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, which accounted for more than half of the total ($150m). Polanski’s Carnage ($28m) also counted as a Spanish production.

According to Rentrak figures, Spanish cinema had a market share in Spain of 15% and a total gross of $118m last year.

In 2011, Spain produced 199 films (62 documentaries), making the country the fourth biggest producer of films in Europe and the ninth in the world. The number of fully Spanish films was 151.

In terms of world market share, Spain is 14th, with 95.6 million spectators last year, falling positions as a result of success from Australia, South Korea or Mexico.

The number of Spanish films to open abroad in 2011 was 110, a 20.9% increase on 2010. “We are happy to say that every day more titles have international appeal. One of the great things about Spanish cinema is its diversity”, said Perez.

Mexico was the country that screened the most Spanish films, 36, whilst the US/Canada grossed the most in terms of Spanish films, $63m, followed by France ($27m); Italy ($19m), Germany ($18.9m), Brazil ($15.5m) and Mexico ($10m).

Spanish films in order of the number of countries they were distributed in last year were: Biutiful (39 territories), Midnight in Paris (33), You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (29), The Skin I Live In (26), Julia’s Eyes (21), Carnage (11), Route Irish (11), Agora (11), The Last Circus (10), Oceans (10), Even The Rain (9) and Buried (9).

In contrast, Arturo Guillén, president of Rentrak Spain and vice president of Rentrak Europe went on to comment on the discouraging results at the local Spanish Box Office in the first trimester of 2012 and predicted even worse figures for the second.

According to Guillén: “There are three reasons for this loss. The crisis is hitting hard Spanish pockets. The young, the first target for cinema are suffering an unemployment of 50%. Second, the good weather and third, blockbusters have not worked as well as expected”. 

Gonzalo Salazar Simpson, president of the cinema producers, pointed: “The first trimester saw a downfall in shoots of 36%. We are improving these figures this spring with a loss of nearly 17% but it will not be a good year. We need more than ever to count on sales agents not only as sellers but as an essential part for the funding of films”.

Finally, Agustín Almodovar picked up the prize for the Spanish film that was most successful abroad in 2011 for The Skin I Live In, awarded by Fapae and Rentrak. Almodóvar was praised for for the internationalitation of cinema “without losing our roots and our identity”.