Spanish films came close to doubling their local market share last year, with a record three films breaking through the watershed Euros 6m (pts1bn) mark, while national cinema admissions set a new global (post-war) record of 13 years' consecutive growth.

The annual industry report released by the Spanish Cinema Academy also revealed that box office receipts were up, to Euros 577m.

Whereas in 2000 no single film broke the local Euros 6m milestone, in 2001 Alejandro Amenabar's The Others earned Euros 24.75m (pts4.12bn), Santiago Segura's Torrente 2: Mission In Marbella (Torrente 2: Mision En Marbella) Euros 21.93m (pts3.65bn) and Vicente Aranda's Mad Love (Juana La Loca) Euros 6.09m (pts1.01bn).

The three hits helped push Spanish product's market share up from 10% in 2000 to 19% in 2001, translating into an estimated Euros 92m in revenues.

On the down side, 20.4% of the record 117 films produced in Spain last year have yet to find a theatrical distributor, and the 50 smallest grossing releases combined, earned just Euros 200,000. This is also despite a rise in average film budgets (officially to Euros 3m, though that figure is inflated by the high cost of films like The Others) and the increasing number of average prints for Spanish film releases (from 69 to 113).

The Academy report suggests these less positive trends may be a knock-on effect of the concentration of power and money in just a few hands, namely film producers associated with major media groups such as Sogecable or Admira, and those who have steady relationships with broadcasters, especially pay TV, and theatrical distributors. More than 78% of producers in Spain made just one film last year, while only 6.4% made four or more.