Teen romcom a surprise hit in Russia

MADRID — Mexico City-based Quality Films has closed most of Spanish-speaking Latin America on teen romantic meller “I Want You,” a big hit in Spain and a breakout in Russia.

Sold by Imagina Intl. Sales, “Want” was a standout at June’s Madrid de Cine Spanish film mart. Warner Bros.-distributed, it grossed €10.5 million ($13.1 million) in Spain through Sunday, making it by far the biggest local release of 2012.

Pic is a sequel to “Three Meters Above the Sky” and both pics’ success is partly due to heartthrob Mario Casas, who reprises his role as a dashing ne’er-do-well in love.

Produced by Zeta Cinema, Antena 3 Films, Cangrejo Films and Globomedia Cine, “Want” opened in the CIS on July 6, coming in second with a first weekend take of $2.5 million off 430 screens; it nabbed $4.3 million in its first 10 days.

“Want’s” distributor, Caravella DDC, is billing its bow as one of the best in Russia for a non-English-language European film.

“Want’s” Latin American sales underscore the growing sophistication of deals as the region rises in value, plus the power of Internet buzz to open up new audiences for foreign mainstream titles.

BF Distribution has acquired Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador; PlayArte has Brazil. IIS has reserved theatrical and video sales rights to Argentina, now under advanced negotiations, Paraguay and Uruguay. Quality has other Latin American rights.

In May, “Want” ran up more Facebook followers in Santiago de Chile (9,700) than either Madrid (3,800) or Barcelona (9,500).

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