MADRID – The boy beat the man. Fox-released Spanish action thriller “El Nino,” a foreign-language highlight on Studiocanal’s Toronto slate, will very shortly join the highly select slate of movies – Hollywood fare and local hits – that have punched more than $10 million at the Spanish box office.

Over Sept. 5-7, “El Nino,” (literally “The Kid”) slaughtered “Hercules,” grossing €2.2 million ($2.9 million) over its second weekend for a $9.3 million cume.

Paramount Pictures “Hercules” made a none-too-muscular $1.6 million in a first-frame bout.

Only six movies, five from Hollywood, have grossed over $10 million in Spain this year, led in terms of Tinseltown title, by “Maleficent” ($17.1 million) and “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” ($16.9 million). If it stays the course, “El Nino” could end up as one of the two to three highest-grossing films of the year, said Telecinco Cinema CEO Ghislain Barrois.

“It’s clear that Spanish audiences are fed-up with typical Hollywood superheroes,” he added. “On the other hand, because they’ve had so few of them, they’re interested in Spanish stories.”

Also co-produced by Telecinco Cinema, romantic comedy “Spanish Affair” punched a phenom $73.8 million at the Spanish box office earlier this year, the highest gross ever for a local movie in Spain.

Produced by Vaca Films (“Cell 211”) and Ikiru Films (“Seventh Floor,” “Tad, the Lost Explorer”) and Telecinco Cinema (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), “El Nino” is also one of the most ambitious films ever from Spain in terms of its action sequences, charting a small-time drug peddler’s spectacular runs across the Gibraltar Straits.

Monzon directed “Cell 211,” one of Spain’s biggest B.O. breakouts of recent years, with a $15.9 million gross.

Telecinco Cinema owner Mediaset España has promoted “El Nino” to the hilt across its bouquet of free-to-air channels. “El Nino” received upbeat reviews from key press, such as Spanish newspaper “El Pais,” which called it a “very thought-through movie, with a brilliant visual finish, directed with personality and vigor.”

“If you provide the right story, despite the depressed market, the audience will follow,” Barrois added.