It was a busy weekend at the Spanish box office with five new releases bowing to different fates last Friday. Riding on buzz and hefty marketing campaigns leftover from their US premieres, Jennifer Lopez-starrer The Cell and Buena Vista's Coyote Ugly landed in the first and second spots. Aurum and Buena Vista opened the films wide on 261 and 221 prints, respectively. Both films brought in over $1m (PTS190m) on their opening weekend, but were well out of range of the year's top openers, The Sixth Sense ($3m) and M:I2 ($2.9m).
Following Germany, where Coyote Ugly has taken $4m after four weeks, Spain is the second major European territory to open the dancing comedy starring Adam Garcia. New Line Cinema's The Cell, also at the start of its international roll-out, has now taken a total of $6.4m from eight territories. Most impressive is its Italian release through distribution newcomer Nexo, where it has grossed $2.2m after 10 days.
It was also a busy weekend for Spanish films trying to launch at the box office on the coat-tails of the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Lolafilms went wide with Alex de la Iglesia's Common Wealth (La Comunidad), the warmly received local film which opened the festival and won the best actress award for Carmen Maura. On 165 copies, Common Wealth was placed third over the weekend with a three-day gross of $682,888 (PTS129m), earning a higher per-screen average than The Cell. Expectations are high that Common Wealth will show its staying power as one of the season's biggest domestic hits. De la Iglesia's last film, Dying Of Laughter (Muertos De Risa), was the second highest-grossing local film in 1999, earning a cumulative $6.5m by year's end.
Common Wealth led the pack of post-San Sebastian premieres, which also included Penelope Cruz-starrer Woman On Top and Imanol Uribe's thriller Plenilunio. After Woman On Top's disappointing US opening, Hispano Fox opened Woman on 177 prints to a weekend gross of $307,324 (PTS58m), placing it seventh in the top 10. Less successful was Plenilunio which landed in the number 11 spot taking a three day gross of $109,460 from 55 screens