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‘WTC’ deposes ‘Alatriste’ in Spain

Stone's Sept. 11 pic appeals to Spanish auds

MADRID — After four weeks in which local swashbuckler “Alatriste” reigned over the charts in Spain, Oliver Stone’s opener “World Trade Center” has seized the B.O. crown.

“WTC” took $2.4 million from 325 and posted the best screen average in the charts: $7,413. But the impressive bow was not enough to push overall biz upwards — Sept. 22-24 biz slipped 3% compared with the previous weekend.

The boffo “WTC” bow surprised Spanish bookers. “I thought it was too American a movie to charm Spanish audiences,” said one. “Political films do not usually appeal to Spaniards and I didn’t expect people to pack theaters for a Sept. 11 story.” As in Blighty, “WTC” reviews were pretty unfavor-able.

Spanish exhibs attribute the success of “WTC” to the publicity generated by “the kind of controversy Oliver Stone generates with his movies.”

Distribs highlighted that “WTC” performed much better in small city center cinemas than in big multiplexes in the outskirts, suggesting it has appeal to upscale auds.

Adam Sandler comedy “Click” took second spot with an opening of $1.7 million. The bow was in line with exhibs’ cautious expectations. “Come-dies toplined by a semi-big star don’t usually shake the charts,” explained one booker. “They usually bow be-tween $1.5 million and $2 million, which is exactly what has happened with ‘Click’ and ‘The Break-Up’.”

Ken Loach’s ninth-placed “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” has found favor with Spanish auds, notch-ing up $1.2 million in 17 days. The Brit auteur is well known to Spanish auds since he made Spanish Civil War pic “Land and Freedom” in 1995.

Two limited release pics that screened at the recent San Sebastian Film Festival bowed to good effect. Victor Garcia Leon’s 13th-placed “Vete de Mi,” which played in San Sebastian’s official competition, made $150,654 from 72 prints. And “Lo que Se de Lola” made $19,776 from 12 prints.

Additional reporting by Archie Thomas

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