Web commits to Euro pix

Investment helps Antena 3 to become major movie b'caster

MADRID Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 will plow E33 million ($43 million) into Spanish and European films and TV movies over 2005, up 43% from its 2004 budget.

The move reps Antena 3’s grudging acceptance of new broadcaster quotas obliging TV operators to invest 5% of their annual turnover in Euro movies.

The investment also complements Antena 3’s drive to become Spain’s major movie broadcaster.

All the films will air on primetime movie slots El Peliculon and Cinematrix.

Antena 3’s 2004-05 slate is unabashedly commercial. It has free-to-air rights to anticipated 2005 releases including Santiago Segura’s “Torrente III,” “Fragile” from Jaume Balaguero (“Darkness”), Warner Bros. production “Reinas” (Queens), and “Princesas” from Fernando Leon (“Mondays in the Sun”).

The DeAPlaneta-controlled web will co-produce the $7.9 million English-lingo TV movie “La bella otero,” teaming with Endemol Espana, Spanish prodco ICC, France’s Nelka and Italy’s Solaris Cinematografica.

Co-productions include Roberto Santiago’s soccer comedy “El penalti mas largo del mundo,” Julio Sanchez Valdes’ prehistoric spoof, “El ultimo neandertal” with Lazona Films, and the Drimtim Entertainment TV movie “Crusader.”