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Latin auds caught in ‘Spider’ web

Dispatches

RIO DE JANEIRO — Fueled by “Spider-Man,” Brazil’s B.O. jumped a boffo 25% in 2002 in local currency terms from 2001, despite the difficult economic environment.

B.O. grosses in 2002 reached 529.5 million reais ($150.4 million). However, that total was influenced by inflation, which runs at an annual rate of about 12%. Admissions, considered a more reliable figure during such inflationary periods, surged 21% to 90.8 million tickets.

Analysts attributed the movies’ stellar performance to the increase in the number and quality of theaters. Brazil’s total screen count rose 5%, ending 2002 with an estimated 1,690 screens. Exhibs also continued to replace old-style facilities with modern multiplexes.

B.O. grosses by local productions increased by 14%. Their share of the overall B.O. pie, however, slipped to 7.6% in 2002, from 8.3% in the previous year.

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