Venezuelan drama Caracas, Love Me to Death (Caracas, Amor A Muerte) (formerly titled The Valley) has lured more than 50,000 admissions since its September 13 debut from just two cities in Venezuela. Leading distributor Cinematografica Blancica released it on less than 10 prints in the capital of Caracas and Maracaibo. This is a remarkable feat in a country with 250 screens.

The directorial debut of Gustavo Balza, Caracas won Best Picture at the 4th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival last July, Best Screenplay from French film fund, Fondsud, and a Best Director mention at the Miami Hispanic Film Festival last June. The film relates the story of a pregnant teenager called Aixa and the effect her plight has on others and herself.

Last year, only one film, Huelepega (Glue Sniffer) by Elia Schneider, performed well on its home turf. This attracted 10,000 admissions after three weeks in two regional cities before going wider in Caracas and seven other regional cities, ending the first month with 70,000 admissions. At the end of its run it pulled in a total of 305,878 cinema-goers.

Local films are released for an average three-month run and in the last ten years there have been five big hitters (see chart below). Two of the top films Muchacho Solitario and Salserin were both youth-targeted and backed by hefty p&a budgets.

Title (Year) Admissions
Huelepega (1999) 305,878 admissions
Amanecio De Golpe (1998) 146,370 admissions
Muchacho Solitario (1998) 410,770 admissions
Salserin (1997) 546,356 admissions
Sicario (1995) 458,853 admissions