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Spanish trio backs ‘Spanish Movie’

Pic spoofs recent local box office hits

MADRID — Three of Spain’s most powerful movie players — Filmax Entertainment, Telecinco Cinema and Hispano Fox Film — are combining on one of Spain’s biggest B.O. hopes of the year, “Spanish Movie.”

Julio Fernandez’s Filmax Ent. has just taken international rights, and will unveil “Movie” — a spoof of recent Spanish B.O. hits — at the American Film Market.

Telecinco Cinema, the producer of Alejandro Amenabar’s “Agora” and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” produced the pic with Think Studio.

Hispano Fox Film has taken Spanish theatrical and DVD rights, skedding a Dec. 4 commercial release.

Directed by debutante Jaier Ruiz Caldera, and featuring cameos by Spanish directors and Leslie Nielsen, “Movie” ironically sends up many films or directors that have given its backers’ big hits: Filmax’s “REC,” the Telecinco-produced “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “The Orphanage,” and Alejandro Amenabar, whose “Agora” grossed Euros14.8 million ($22.2 million) through Oct. 26 for Hispano Fox Film.

“Movie’s” focus on international hits will give it an overseas reach, said Filmax’s head of international sales, Vicente Canales.

In Spain, a country that loves to hate its own movies, “Movie” has come from nowhere to become one of the most-talked up titles of the year, playing as a trailer before “Agora,” to large guffaws from spectators.

” ‘Movie’ has a lot going for it,” said Zentropa Intl. Spain producer David Matamoros, also editor of upcoming guide “Distribution and Marketing Principles for Beginners.”

“It’s a comedy when comedies are overperforming nowadays, an American-style send-up gag comedy, which audiences will understand. It has a strong TV cast, and superb trailer placement before ‘Agora,’ ” Matamoros added, predicting “Movie” will make Euros 7 million-Euros8 million ($10.5 million-$12 million) in Spain.

” ‘Spanish Movie’ will be one of the top three Spanish movies this year,” said Paco Garcia, managing director at Barcelona-based cinema circuit Acec.

If that happens, Spain will most likely enjoy the best half-year B.O. this decade. “REC 2” grossed $7.65 million through Oct. 25, and toon pic “Planet 51,” from Spain’s Illion Studios, bows Nov. 27.

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