Business rises for first time in five years

Spanish cinema admissions rose 7.9% to 48.8 million in the first half of this year, halting four years of falling sales, according to the Federation of Spanish Cinemas (Fece).

Aided by a slight rise in ticket prices, total box office rose 13% to E296 million ($414.4 million), after three years of flat receipts in 2005-07 and a 3.8% year-on-year fall last year.

Fece attributed the B.O. recovery to three factors: the success of digital 3-D cinema — Paramount’s “Monsters vs. Aliens,” for example, nabbed 470,000 admissions in its 3-D version; more big pic releases; and a better reception for local movies, which don’t usually score well at home.

Hollywood ruled the roost, placing eight pics in the first-half top 10. Most popular release was “Angels and Demons” with 2.4 million admissions.

Gross-out comedy “Fuga de cerebros” was the bestselling local pic, with 1.1 million admissions.

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