'Two Towers' pushes Aurum to top of local list

MADRID — Full-year B.O. in Spain edged up 1.5% last year to 626 million euros ($673.0 million), while admissions fell 4.2% to 140.7 million, per figures published Monday by Spain’s Ministry of Culture.

The top grossing pic of the year was “Spider-Man” with $24.3 million, followed by “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” ($21 million), “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings” ($18.4 million), “Star Wars: Episode II” ($18 million) and “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” ($17.4 million).

WB-Sogecable combo Warner Sogefilms topped distribbers trauls with $109.8 million, followed by 20th Century Fox in Spain ($108.8 million), Columbia TriStar ($86.6 million), Disney ($86.3 million) and UIP ($65 million).

Thanks to “The Two Towers,” Aurum ($49.5 million) overhauled TriPictures ($34.0 million) and Lauren ($33.9 million) for lead indie distribco. Filmax ($26.7 million), Alta Classics ($19,2 million) and Vertigo ($15.4 million) followed.

Ministry stats for B.O. and tix were expected. But the Spanish pix final market share for 2002 — 13.7% — was not, and comes from belatedly reported tix sales for Spanish films.

The local pix share, the third best for Spanish cinema since 1987, will be used by the government to combat announcements by thesps and directors that the film industry is in crisis.

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