‘Dying’ enlivens Spanish B.O.

Local pic 2nd to 'Bug's' in all-time 1st weekend gross

MADRID — In a golden first quarter for Spain’s local cinema, Alex de la Iglesia’s “Dying of Laughter” has trounced local-pic release records with a first-weekend gross of $1.82 million.

The opening figure is the second best for films of any nationality in Spain in 1999, behind “A Bug’s Life” ($1.96 million). Other leaders include “Enemy of the State” ($1.79 million), “The Siege” ($1.42 million) and “You’ve Got Mail” ($1.38 million).

Distributed by inhouse LolaFilms Distribution and produced by Andres Vicente Gomez for Lola Films in association with commercial net Tele 5 and digital satcaster Via Digital, the comedy charts the bitter feuds between the two partners in a standup comedy act.

Exhibs and distributors attribute the pic’s success to its record print run for a local film — 188 copies — and the marquee value of director de la Iglesia.

“Dying’s” huge bow gives producer Gomez four of the five highest first three-day performers in Spanish film history: “Dying”; Fernando Trueba’s “Two Much” ($1.17 million) and “The Girl of Your Dreams” ($970,000); and Segura’s directorial debut, “Torrente, the Dumb Arm of the Law” ($940,000).

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