Comedic faux docu bows in hardtops, DVD, VOD

MADRID — A low-budget mockumentary hit about an indomitable Seville matriach, “Carmina o revienta,” has become the first Spanish film released day-and-date theatrically, on DVD and on VOD.

Bowing Thursday, thesp Paco Leon’s helming debut punched about 15,000 VOD buys, with pricing ranging from $2.40 to $5, through Sunday to become the country’s first legal VOD hit.

The family comedy topped sales on seven platforms, including iTunes, Google Play and Sony PlayStation Network, plus on Spanish TV VOD services Yombi, Imagenio and ONO, said producer Alvaro Alonso at Seville’s Jaleo Films.

At 8,000 buys, Filmin sales tripled the arthouse VOD label’s best results to date.

“Carmina” sold 9,000 DVDs at $7.40 each, half the going rate, a standout result for a Spanish title.

Distributed by Jaleo and La Luna de Tantan on just 20 screens, “Carmina’s” theatrical B.O. was modest at $37,926.

“Carmina” stars Leon’s mother, first-time actress Carmina Barrios, as the battling matriarch who fends for her alcoholic husband and unemployed daughter, a single-mother, by pulling an insurance scam.

“Carmina’s” $250,000 budget, including promotion, allowed it to try alternative distribution. However, “the big money is still in theatrical,” said Alonso.

Establishing its credentials, “Carmina” was the talk of April’s Malaga Spanish Film Festival, winning actress, audience and special jury plaudits. Leon’s TV star status raised its profile.

Only exceptional films can glean such standout VOD results, Alonso argued. That said, “Carmina” has “opened the door to a new market.”

“There’s no longer one distribution model for all films,” Tous added.

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