Spain has produced many mind-bogglingly original movies over the years and has also gained a reputation as a creative hothouse for some of the best directors in the world. From the surreal eye of Luis Buñuel to the prodigious talent of newcomer, Juan Antonio Bayona whose movie, The Impossible, is now breaking worldwide box office records, this tradition continues.
Just before the end of 2012, figures released by Rentrack Spain show that last year was a record year for ticket sales at Spanish cinemas. With a total of $140 million (€106 million), 2012 represented a 27-year high in domestic box office market share at 17.9 per cent.
In the last three months of the year, an astonishing 40 per cent of Spanish ticket sales were for homegrown films, proving that the Spanish film industry is in the best of health.
President of FAPAE (the Spanish Producers’ Federation), Pedro Pérez, explained, “Every year in every territory, there are films that act as motors that help boost earnings.”
Last year three titles in particular crossed the one million ticket threshold: The Impossible, Tad the Lost Explorer (Tadeo Jones) and I Want You (Tengo Ganas de Ti) all proved popular with the country’s cinema goers and helped to breathe new life into the national film industry.
Pérez was quick to congratulate all involved in creating these three titles and thereby boosting the industry. He also pointed out the vital role that television – ironically once regarded as cinema’s greatest threat – had played in Spain’s cinematic success stories, reminding consumers that The Impossible and Tad the Lost Explorer are Telecinco co-productions and I Want You was produced by Antena 3.
The Impossible, the tale of a family caught up in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, is likely to have a major effect on 2013’s sales as well, since at the time of writing it is continuing to open in cinemas around the world.
Lovers of Spanish cinema’s most coruscating talent are also in for a treat in 2013, as Pedro Almodóvar prepares to launch his latest creation, I’m So Excited, on the world. Described by the great director himself as “a light, very light comedy” it is sure to be one of the year’s most popular releases.