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WB beefs up its slate in Spain

It will back six-to-eight local films a year

Warner Bros. is aggressively expanding its business in Spain.

The studio has closed theatrical and DVD distribution rights to near a dozen films, which will be released this year and into 2011.

The lineup ranges from mainstream to potential breakout titles. It includes Warner’s first Spanish 3D pics, the sequels to two successful local film franchises: Santiago Segura’s gumshoe spoof “Torrente” and comicbook adaptation “Mortadelo and Filemon.”

It continues backing movies by genre auteurs, such as Juan Antonio Bayona’s post-tsunami epic “The Impossible,” which Summit Entertainment is selling internationally, and Alex de la Iglesia’s satirical comedy “Sad Trumpet Ballad,” a U.S. rights acquisition by Magnolia Pictures.

WB intends to back six to eight local films a year, said Pablo Nogueroles, managing director, Warner Bros. Pictures Intl. Spain.

“The goal is to reach 25% to 30% of the Spanish film B.O.,” he added.

After a three-year decline, Spanish movies made E104.4 million ($129 million) in 2009, with a 15.5% market share.

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