"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

Studio notches up 17% theatrical market share in Spain, thanks to U.S. hits, Spanish movie slate

MADRID – Adding another major market crown to No. 1 rankings in the U.K. and France, Warner Bros. topped Spanish distributor charts in 2013 for the forth year running, punching a 17% market share.

Universal came second, its movies taking 14% of Spain’s total box office.

Unlike France, one U.S. Warner title towered over the rest in Spain, a sign of now far-more-selective cinema-going in the country: “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” grossed €14.3 million ($19.4 million) in 2013 off a Dec. 13 bow.

Still counting, “The Hobbit 2” has already chalked up $20.8 million through Jan. 5. It looks on track to cume about $24 million, making it Spain’s only 2013 release to blast past the $20 million benchmark.

A bevy of Warner Bros. U.S. titles did, however, still notch up notable results in a highly depressed Spanish theatrical market. “Gravity” scored $11.1 million in theatrical box office, “Man of Steel” $10.5 million, “The Conjuring” $8.2 million and “The Hangover III” $7.3 million.

Unlike France, in Spain Warner Bros. also fired on another cylinder: Local movie product. Of Spanish bows, Pedro Almodovar’s “I’m So Excited!” punched $6.8 million and Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s “Family United” $4.1 million. Bowing Dec. 6, and skewing towards femme audiences, still underserved in Spain by local product, Javier Ruiz Caldera’s “Three Many Weddings,” about a woman whose always the grooms’ ex, never the bride, posted $6.2 million last year, on track for an about $8.2 million total trawl, which would make it the highest-grossing Spanish release of 2013.

Underscoring Warner’s dominance of high-profile popular Spanish titles, Warner Bros scored 23 Goya Award noms this week, led by 12 for “Family United.”

“Spanish cinema has, as always, been very important for us and to help us reach the No. 1 market share. Without Spanish films, we probably wouldn’t have come first,” said Pablo Nogueroles, director general, Warner Bros. Pictures Intl., Spain.

Warner Bros. will release five-to-six Spanish films over 2014, including 3D toon pic “Mortadelo y Filemon contra Jimmy el Cachondo,” produced by Zeta Cinema and animated at Madrid’s Ilion Animation, and Alberto Rodriguez’s cop thriller “La isla minima,” produced by Atipica and Atresmedia Cine.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Spain was also Spain’s No. 1 major in home entertainment, for the eighth year in a row, scoring an 18.9% market share, its highest ever.

It lead on multiple fronts, releasing the number one theatrical movie – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” – the top TV product – “Games of Thrones’” Season Two – and strengthening its No. 1 position in catalog sales of TV contents, such as on the DVD/Blu-ray release of “Game of Thrones” and other series, reported Juan Angulo, general manager, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Spain.

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