Indies up, despite piracy


The Spanish market saw box office through September drop year-on-year by 1.6% to E458 million ($647 million). Piracy helped admissions plunge by 6.5%. Meanwhile, indie B.O. grew from 21% to 25.5%, led by Aurum, which won a 7.4% share of the market. But indies are buying ever more selectively and diversifying into production. Broadcasters are pulling back on indie film acquisitions. Pay TV takes only mainstream titles, while new revenue opportunities, such as VOD, have yet to consolidate.

Alta Films
Enrique Gonzalez Macho, prexy; Enrique Gonzalez Kuhn, VP
B.O.: $15.1 million
Top pic: “The Lives of Others” ($6.5 million)
In brief: Top Spanish arthouse distrib, and also an exhibitor and producer. “Lives’” Spanish take outperformed other Euro markets. Recent acquisitions include “Battle for Haditha.”

Jorge Vazquez, head of theatrical; Igor Ibeas, head of home entertainment
B.O.: $48.1 million
Top pic: “Next” ($7.1 million)
In brief: Leading indie, acquired by Alliance Atlantis Motion Picture Distribution in 2004. On its 2007 slate: “Apocalypto,” “Hannibal Rising.” Shingle has an exclusive three-year output deal with Yari Film Group. General manager Alberto Canizares ankled in spring.

Jose Escola, general manager; Yolanda del Val, head of acquisitions and sales
B.O.: $29.9 million
Top pic: “Bridge to Terabithia” ($5.6 million)
In brief: Co-owned by Planeta and DeAgostini; recent titles: “Premonition,” “The Last Legion.”

Jose Hueva, CEO; Felipe Ortiz, prexy; Luis Ortiz, VP
B.O.: $14.4 million
Top pic: “The Number 23” ($4.1 million)
In brief: Has New Line output deal. Majority-owned by publishing group Vocento from mid-2006. Entering big European co-productions.

Filmax Entertainment
Julio Fernandez, chairman; Carlos Fernandez, prexy; Carlos Rojano, business general manager
B.O.: $13.6 million
Top pic: “The Hairy Tooth Fairy” ($3.1 million)
In brief: Stalwart distrib is scything acquisitions to focus on producing international market-driven titles. Upcoming releases: Brad Anderson’s “Transsiberian,” animated feature “Donkey Xote.”

Manga Films
Luis de Val, prexy
B.O.: $11.1 million
Top pic: “Bobby” ($1.6 million)
In brief: Mainstream distribution arm of media-tech giant Vertice 360, which was bought last year for $40 million. Acquiring fewer but bigger titles, releasing roughly 24 films this year.

Notro Films
Jose Maria Irisarri, exec prexy; Adolfo Blanco, general manager
B.O.: $5.8 million
Top pic: “Under the Stars” ($1.5 million)
In brief: Vertice 360’s arthouse distributor. Shingle teamed with horror filmmaker Brian Yuzna to create genre label Amazing! Pictures.

Pedro Zaratiegui, Josetxo Moreno, Otilio Garcia, partners
B.O.: $4.2 million
Top pic: “2 Days in Paris” ($1 million)
In brief: Arthouse distributor/exhibitor and producer. “The Edge of Heaven,” “The Pope’s Toilet” and “Emotional Arithmetic” are among next releases.

Note: 2007 B.O. through Sept. 30

Source: Nielsen EDI