U.S. pix score big at Spanish B.O.

Per Spanish culture ministry figures released Monday, the box office tally for the first six months of 1992 totalled $ 154,142,245 for all films from Jan. 1 through June 30.

As usual, American films topped the list, accounting for almost $ 115 million (73.5%) of all grosses, and 51% of the total number of films exhibited. Eighteen of the top 20 were Yank films: “The Prince of Tides” led with approximately $ 7. 2 million, followed closely by “Cape Fear” with $ 6.9 million and “JFK” with $ 6 .1 million.

Spanish films accounted for only $ 16.5 million, 10.5% of the total made on all films. The biggest Spanish pix were “El Robobo de La Jojoya” ($ 2.3 million) , “Salsa Rosa,” and “Makinavaja, El Ultimo Chorizo.”

Only “El Robobo” managed to make it into the top 20 list of all releases since January, ranking 19 on the roster. Beside “El Robobo,” the only other European film in the top 20 was French drama “The Lover,” with Euro pix (not counting Spanish releases) taking about 16% of the overall box office pie.

The results bear out, once again, the struggle Spanish and European productions are faced with in hard-pressed competition with American films. Only 285 Spanish films were screened out of a total of 1,473, amounting to 19.34% of the screen quota. Performance-wise, Yank pix took 73.7% of the number of admissions sold, while Spanish pix took only 11.29%, and other Euro pix 11.89%, with the remaining 3.12% to other countries.

Completing the top 10 list of U.S. titles were: “Terminator II: Judgment Day, “”Hook,””The Silence of the Lambs,””Thelma and Louise,””Final Analysis,””Shining Through” and “The Addams Family.”

But aside from the screen and box office battle is the battle to get official data on box office statistics. Now heading into November, official ministerial figures for the first six months of 1992 have only just been released.

The blame for the delay lies primarily in the lack of computerized box office admissions systems throughout Spain. This not only means delays in figures, but that the data provided by theaters operating on manual methods is not always considered reliable.

The delay this year also makes accurate comparisons with previous years virtually impossible, since the culture ministry figures are normally released on a trimester basis, rather than the six-month period used this year. No monthly breakdowns are given.

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