Cannes 3D Report: Spain

Spain’s 3D digital screen count increased last year by a spectacular 175% to 620 — dramatic growth, taking into account that there were only 25 3D digital screens in the country at the end of 2008.

Spain’s 15% 3D screen penetration continues to be lower than other top European markets, but according to IHS Screen Digest, growth will continue to about 1,000, with 3D screens counting for 26% of Spanish screens by year’s end.

“We could reach enough 3D screens to keep pace with the number of 3D films released,” says Ignacio Puebla at 3D distrib SolotresD.

Non-movie 3D screenings have a way to go to become a real alternative. “The World Cup soccer (feeds) in theaters was a hit for us because the Spanish team played the final; otherwise, it would’ve been a disaster,” says Fernando Evole, CEO of Yelmo Cines.

The need for higher budgets on 3D films used to be a handicap for producers. Santiago Segura’s Warner-distributed “Torrente 4: Lethal Crisis” has nabbed €19.4 million ($28 million). Alex Colls’ tyke film “The Happets” cumed $384,298 in fall.

Other animated 3D pics, such as Dygra’s “Holly Night!,” have repeatedly delayed their release dates, due in part to the difficulty of securing good 3D playdates.

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