×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Antena 3 tunes in to Hollywood pix pacts

It ramps up while rival webs go local

MADRID — As Spain’s independent distribs trawl the halls of the American Film Market this week, many will be thanking their lucky stars for Spanish commercial web Antena 3.

Antena 3 is revving up its Yank movie commitment, while rival Telecinco cut investment in U.S. movies from $120 million in 2002 to $90 million in 2003 and 2004. Pubcaster RTVE wants to hike Spanish movies to 30% of all movie broadcasts.

Run by DeAPlaneta since May 2003, Antena 3 has a five-year output deal with Fox, inked in 2000. It has a four-year deal with Columbia TriStar dating from 2002’s “The Zorro,” and shares a first run/library multiyear volume accord with Universal. It has a long-running deal with indie distribs Aurum Producciones, a first-run pic package with Lauren, and mini packages with Filmax and Manga.

It recently inked a title-by-title package from TriPictures, including Oliver Stone’s “Alexander.”

Antena 3 also buys big pics from DeAPlaneta, such as “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow,” and is trying to re-up with Universal.

The strategy seems contradictory: Hit by DVD and pay TV exposure, terrestrial ratings for movies in Spain have plunged in a decade.

The most-watched movie on Spanish TV in 1993 — “Pretty Woman” — notched 9.2 million viewers; 2003’s top film — “The Sixth Sense” — lured 5.5 million.

A more selective film focus makes sense for the web, however.

Publicly listed, Telecinco and Antena 3 must maintain ratings to bulwark their stock. Both have deep pockets. Antena 3 posted E67 million ($84.8 million) net profits through September.

But, crucially, Antena 3 is in a different growth phase to Telecinco.

Telecinco has been run professionally since the mid ’90s, Antena 3 for only 18 months after a disastrous time under Telefonica, and has yet to develop a broad portfolio of content.

That’s where movies, which rev ratings far more flexibly than series, come into play.

Per Antena 3 programming director Fernando Jerez, A3 can market the hell out of films, with long run-in campaigns and cross-promotions.

Firing off some heavy artillery — “The Count of Monte Cristo,” “Kiss of the Dragon” — Antena 3 has had a great new season start, airing seven of the top 10 most-seen movies, Sept. 1-Oct.18, with its Monday night movie slot taking a 26% share, 20% above the channel average.

Antena 3 faces challenges. One is that movie suppliers begin to sit on pics, hopeful the Spanish government will grant two new analog TV franchises. Another is making sure it has enough big movies.

Both mean Antena 3 will be looking to close more deals.

More Film

  • Boots Riley arrives at the 34th

    Boots Riley: Spike Lee Yelled at Me After 'BlacKkKlansman' Criticism, But We're Good Now

    “Sorry to Bother You” director and musician Boots Riley, who wrote a scathing criticism of Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” for its positive representation of law enforcement, said that he and the “Do the Right Thing” auteur are good now. But it took some time (and drama) to get there. Last year, Riley called Lee’s Oscar-nominated “BlacKkKlansman” [...]

  • Dr. Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali, right)

    Read Variety's 1957 Review of 'Green Book' Pianist Don Shirley

    “Green Book” viewers who are not totally versed in the ways of ’50s and ’60s jazz may come away from the heavily Oscar-nominated movie wondering just how well known and respected the film’s central musical figure, Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), really was in his heyday. The answer: revered enough to have picked up [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Steven Spielberg Remembers 'Friend and Early Mentor' Stanley Donen

    As news of the death of prolific director Stanley Donen spread Saturday, the industry was quick to remember the helmer of so many classic musicals. Donen directed such hits as “Singin’ in the Rain,” co-directed with and starring Gene Kelly; “Funny Face” with Audrey Hepburn; and “Charade,” with Hepburn and Cary Grant. “Stanley Donen was [...]

  • Aubrey Plaza Spirit Awards

    How to Watch the 2019 Spirit Awards Online

    The Spirit Awards are taking over television Saturday from Santa Monica, Calif., but viewers don’t need a TV to tune in. Hosted by “Parks and Recreation” star Aubrey Plaza, this year’s Spirit Awards are set to air on IFC at 2 p.m. PT and again on Feb. 24 at 9 p.m. ET. However, indie lovers [...]

  • Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

    Oscars, After Repeated Tumbles, Takes Center Stage in Hollywood

    At least the weather will be sunny for Sunday afternoon’s Oscars ceremony following one of the stormiest —  and strangest — awards seasons in memory. Expectations have been turned upside down in key categories amid a historic lack of consensus among guild and critics groups. The 91st Academy Awards will be the first in three [...]

  • Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his Night

    Box Office: 'How to Train Your Dragon 3' Speeding to Series-Best Debut With $58 Million

    Universal’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” is far and away the box office champ for Academy Awards weekend with an estimated debut of $58 million from 4,259 North American locations. Three holdovers and an expansion will make up the other top four spots, with the sophomore frame of sci-fier “Alita: Battle Angel” [...]

  • Stanley Donen

    Stanley Donen, Director of Iconic Movie Musicals, Dies at 94

    Stanley Donen, the director of such stylish and exuberant films as “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Funny Face” and “Two for the Road” and the last surviving helmer of note from Hollywood’s golden age, has died at 94. The Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips tweeted that one of his sons had confirmed the news to him. Confirmed [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content