Mexico B.O. improves in 2011

'Top Cat' is top local pic; 'Harry Potter' leads year

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s film chamber Canacine gave 2011 projections for industry performance Wednesday, noting exhibitors here have sold 204.3 million tickets so far this year, up 8% from 2010, with box office totaling 9.8 billion pesos ($792 million), coming off two crisis-riddled years for the industry.

One factor adding to B.O. is a 4.6% increase in screens to 5,172, as well as higher ticket prices.

Looking at the 42 local pics released, the big winner was classic toon remake “Top Cat” (Don Gato y su Pandilla), which garnered $9.08 million. The pic, distributed by WB, claimed the No.7 spot for top-grossing Mexican films of all time.

Runners up were Lemon Films’ “Saving Private Perez” (Salvando al Soldado Perez) with $7.44 million and documentary “Presumed Guilty” (Presunto culpable) with $6.33 million.

All the top 10 local films broke the $1 million mark with seven of the 10 breaking $2 million.

The chamber noted the domestic biz took 7% of the B.O. total, up from 5.6% in 2010. While above average for the last eight years, the figure was well below the 8.3% and 8.9% seen in 2007 and 2008.

Mexico’s top overall grosser was “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” which took in $34 million, followed by “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” with $29.1 million and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” with $27.3 million.

The majors played a dominant role in distribution, with nine of the top 10 grossing films (the tenth spot was taken by indie distrib, Corazon Films). Four of the top 10 Mexican films were distributed by Televisa’s distrib arm, Videocine.

Also speaking at the event, a representative for Sony announced its pending rollout of 4k projectors in Mexican theaters.

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