‘Impossible’ smashes Spanish B.O. record

Watts, McGregor starrer grosses $13.3 mil in four days

MADRID — Juan Antonio Bayona’s post-tsunami drama “The Impossible” has scored the biggest four-day opening ever in Spain.

Sweeping across Spanish theaters from a Thursday bow, the Warner Bros. release piled up Euros 10.3 million ($13.3 million), including previews.

Marking the film’s first commercial release after it played to acclaim at Toronto, San Sebastian and Sitges fests, figures could still edge up.

But with nearly all theaters having reported, “Impossible’s” trawl also beat previous first three-day record-holders, Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” ($11.45 million) and Sony’s “The Da Vinci Code,” ($11.38 million). “Impossible” nabbed $11.6 million in its first weekend.

“Impossible’s” gross has been achieved despite the economic crisis that has caused Spain’s total box office to drop this year through August.

Starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as parents desperately trying to protect and find their children after Thailand’s 2004 tsunami, “The Impossible” benefitted from Warner Bros. expertise in handling Spanish movies, and a huge marketing push by broadcast group Mediaset Espana, whose film arm Telecinco Espana co-produced the movie.

“The result gives ‘The Impossible’ more value internationally, boosting the confidence of foreign distributors worldwide,” said Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois.

“The Impossible” also marks the first big hit in Spain for producers Enrique Lopez Lavigne and Belen Atienza at indie production shingle Apaches Ent.

Summit Ent. sold the film worldwide, barring Japan out of the major territories.

Summit opens “The Impossible” on Dec. 21 in the U.S.

Emilio Mayorga contributed to this report.

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