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‘Arthur,’ ‘Spanish Movie’ fly high

EuropaCorp, Telecinco pics top in France, Spain

Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp and Spain’s Telecinco Cinema, two of the most powerful production houses in Europe, are on a box office roll.

Besson’s “Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard,” the second part of his live-action/CG trilogy following “Arthur and the Minimoys,” topped Gallic B.O. charts Wednesday through Sunday, grossing E6.9 million ($10.2 million) off 925 screens, a huge print run worthy of “Harry Potter.”

“Revenge” is EuropaCorp’s locomotive for 2009 but other EuropaCorp Distribution releases have been making useful coin. Radu Mihaileanu’s “The Concert” has taken $10 million in four weeks, Xavier Giannoli’s Cannes competition player “In the Beginning” made $2.75 million after three weeks.

Telecinco Cinema’s “Spanish Movie,” Fox Intl. Prods’ first release in Spain, landed at No. 1, bowing Friday to an estimated $3.2 million off 386 prints. It is Telecinco Cinema’s third No. 1 in two months following “Agora” and “Cell 211,” which no other Spanish company has achieved this decade.

With “Agora” cuming $30.5 million through Sunday and “Cell 211” $9.4 million, Telecinco movies took 26% of Spain’s top 20 pics’ weekend box office.

Budgeted at $94.2 million, “Revenge” is financed by a combination of Gallic TV sales, international sales and partnerships, licensing (such as a Ubisoft vidgame) and equity against sponsorship provided by French bank BNP, said EuropaCorp CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet.

“Spanish Movie” saw a colossal Fox marketing campaign, much of it on the Internet, from an early stage of production.

“The film was designed as a product and the marketing was key,” said CEO Ghislain Barrois.

(Emilio Mayorga in Barcelona contributed to this report.)

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