You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

B.O. heroes invade Argentina

Tix soar by 13.7 mil in first half of 2003

BUENOS AIRES — Hollywood blockbusters “X2: X-Men United” and “The Matrix Reloaded” are luring Argentines back to the theater — sales are up 10% on last year’s slump-driven lows.

Ticket sales rose nearly 13.7 million in the first half 2003 from 12.5 million a year earlier, according ACNielsen-EDI data. In 2002, ticket sales dropped 2% to about 30.4 million from 31 million in 2001.

With the economy on track to grow around 4.5% in 2003, Argentines are returning to the movie houses.

The release of “Finding Nemo,” “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” and “The Hulk” in the coming weeks should boost ticket sales, said Oscar Coraggio, the programming manager of Columbia TriStar Films Argentina.

The story is different for independent films. “The market works only for blockbusters,” said Bernardo Zupnik, head of Argentine film distributor Distribution Company.

Average ticket prices have plummeted in U.S. dollar terms, in line with the 65% depreciation of the Argentine currency against the dollar since 2001. This has made it harder for distributors to make a profit, as their takings have dropped to about 60¢ per ticket from $2.15 before the 2002 devaluation of the peso. At the same time, many of a distributor’s costs like copying and film rights are in dollars.

As a result, distributors are screening less pics, but more sure-fire crowd pleasers. The number of screenings in the first five- and a-half months of the year dropped by 11% to 91 from 102.

A few local pics are lined up for the winter school break (June and July), when attendance generally surges.

Two are off to a romping start. Daniel Barone’s romantic comedy “El dia que me amen” (The Day That They Loved Me) and Tomas Yankelvich’s “Vivir intentando” (Live Trying), starring reality pop band Bandana, have been among the top 10 most watched in their first two weeks, between June 12 and June 23. “The Day” sold 183,100 tickets in its first two weeks, while “Live Trying” sold 104,300.

Other possible big-draws are Juan Bautista Stagnaro’s romantic comedy “Un dia en el paraiso” (A Day in Paradise), set for a July 3 release, and Eduardo Mignogna’s “Cleopatra,” a road-movie starring Norma Aleandro due out later in the year.

More Film

  • Berlin Film 'The Ground Beneath My

    Berlin Competition Film 'The Ground Beneath My Feet' Sold to Germany's Salzgeber (EXCLUSIVE)

    Salzgeber has acquired the German rights for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” from sales agent Picture Tree International. Variety has been given exclusive access to the film’s trailer. Salzgeber will release the film, directed by Marie Kreutzer, mid-May. Trailer for Berlin Film Festival competition title “The Ground Beneath My Feet” [...]

  • Donald Glover'Atlanta' TV show premiere, Arrivals,

    Childish Gambino Surprises Beverly Hills Crowd With Reimagined 'Redbone'

    Donald Glover made an unexpected appearance at Film Independent’s “An Evening With…” series tonight (Jan. 15), held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills and presented by the HFPA. Joining “Black Panther” composer and Childish Gambino collaborator Ludwig Göransson, who was the subject of a Q&A conducted by “The Treatment” host Elvis [...]


    Film News Roundup: Glenn Close Selected for Oscar Wilde Award

    In today’s film news roundup, Glenn Close gets an honor, AFI names its Directing Workshop for Women participants and Teri Polo gets cast in a Christmas drama. CLOSE HONOR Glenn Close will be honored on Feb. 21 by the US-Ireland Alliance at the 14th Annual Oscar Wilde Awards, held at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot in [...]

  • Jason Reitman Ghostbusters

    Jason Reitman to Direct Secret 'Ghostbusters' Movie

    Sony Pictures is getting the wheels in motion for the next installment in the “Ghostbusters” franchise, and it knows who it’s going to call to direct: Jason Reitman. Sources tell Variety that Reitman, whose father, Ivan, directed the first two “Ghostbusters” movies, will direct the latest pic in the famous franchise. Reitman has also co-written a [...]

  • L.A. Teachers' Strike: Hollywood Studios, Unions

    Hollywood Studios, Unions Support Parents and Educators as L.A. Teachers' Strike Rages

    Hollywood unions and entertainment companies have stepped up to support the 31,000 Los Angeles teachers in the second day of a massive strike that’s affected nearly half a million students. More than 50 SAG-AFTRA members picketed at a Tuesday afternoon rally in the driving rain next to the Hollywood & Highland Center with secretary-treasurer Jane [...]

  • SAMUEL L. JACKSON in Glass. M.

    ‘Glass’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Universal Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Glass.” Ads placed for the superhero thriller had an estimated media value of $9.89 million through Sunday for 1,183 national [...]

  • Danny Glover

    Danny Glover Joins 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle' Sequel

    Danny Glover has joined the cast of Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” sequel. His role is being kept under wraps, as is the storyline. Glover will star opposite Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, and Karen Gillan, all of whom are set to return. Awkwafina is in final negotiations for a significant part in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content