Local features besting Hollywood films

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine films are beating Hollywood pics at the local box office thanks to big names and strong word of mouth.

“El secreto de sus ojos” (The Secret in Their Eyes) held first for a fifth week in the Sept. 10-16 recording period, earning 3.14 million pesos ($821,180) on 113 screens, according to B.O. tracker Ultracine.

“The Secret,” directed by Juan Jose Campanella, is about a man trying to solve a 30-year-old murder. Distributed by Buenos Aires-based Distribution Co., the pic has amassed $4.83 million to become the hottest domestic film of the year.

Marcelo Pineyro’s “Las viudas de los jueves” (The Widows of Thursdays) placed second in its opening, earning $620,214 from 92 screens. “Widows,” distributed by Argentina’s Alfa Films, is about rich families trying to keep things together despite murders and a financial crisis.

The local contingent bested Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” and “My Bloody Valentine,” both of which slipped a spot to third and fourth in their second weeks, fetching $246,119 and $178,761, respectively.

In fifth came homegrown comedy “Papa por un dia” (Father for a Day) with $129,673, taking its six-week total to $1.5 million.

Local pics have not seen such success at the Argentine B.O. since September 2005, when “El aura” (The Dawn), “Tiempo de valientes” (On Probation) and “Iluminados por el fuego” (Blessed by Fire) held the top three spots, with “Elsa and Fred” not far behind. Though Hollywood usually dominates with 80%-90% of B.O. receipts, local pics took 58% during this sesh, according to Ultracine.

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