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Spanish B.O. takes dramatic dive

Total B.O. down 9.5% to $734.6 mil

Spanish cinema attendance plunged 12.7% in 2005 with ticket sales dropping to 122.3 million, compared to 140.1 million in 2004, according to figures released Thursday by Nielsen EDI Spain.

Total B.O. also nose-dived 9.5% to E617.5 million ($734.6 million). Figures are in line with dire B.O. results for 2005 over most of western Europe.

“The results underscore a continuing decline in cinema going in Spain,” said Nielsen EDI Spain managing director Jose Manuel Pimienta.

After 11 years of unbroken admissions growth from 1989 to 2001, total tix sales dropped to 134.7 million in 2002 and 131.5 million in 2003 before rallying to 140.1 million last year.

While three films broke the symbolic E20 million ($23.8 million) barrier in 2001, followed by one in 2002, three in 2003 and two in 2004, no film got close in 2005.

Spain’s 2005 chart topper was “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith” ($22.4 million), followed by “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” ($22.2 million), Spanish gross-out “Torrente 3” ($21.5 million), “War of the Worlds” ($19.6 million), “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” ($16.8 million), “Madagascar” ($16.2 million), “Meet the Fockers” ($16.1 million), “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” ($15 million), “Fantastic Four” ($15 million), and “Million Dollar Baby” ($14.8 million).

Still playing, “Goblet” is likely to overtake “Sith” next week as the biggest bow of 2005.

UIP finished 2005 as Spain’s highest-grossing distribution house with a market share of 19.1%.

Other top distributors: Fox (17.8%), BVI (13.1%), Warner Sogefilms (12.7%), Sony (7.5%), TriPictures (5.9%), Filmax (5.3%), DeAPlaneta (4.7%), Alta (3.8%) and Vertigo and Aurum, which both notched up 1.8% market shares.

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