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Brazil on Track For Best B.O. Year in History

Hollywood blockbusters, plexing drive record, per Filme B ’s Paulo Sergio Almedia

Powered by Hollywood juggernauts and a hiking cinema theater screen count, Brazil is on track to punch 170 million admissions and RS$2.2 billion ($700 million) in total 2015 box office, the biggest total annual B.O. trawl in history, per Paulo Sergio Almeida, director of Filme B.

2015 will cap 11 years of continuous Brazilian B.O. growth, he said.  In the short term, however, that could be as good as it gets. 2016 will see total box office dip, as Brazil’s post commodities super-cycle recession – GDP fell a third-quarter 4.5% – and political turmoil impact consumer spending, and Hollywood’s lineup doesn’t pack so much of a punch, Almeida added.

But U.S. blockbuster made 2015’s running in Brazil. Disney’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” topped box office charts through late November, per Filme B, hitting 10.1 million tix sales, though “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has just punched the biggest December opening ever in Brazil.

(Ultron’s dollar box office gross came in at $47.9 million, per Box Office Mojo).

UPI’s “Fast and Furious 7” (9.9 million) and “Minions” (8.9 million) ranked No. 2 and 3. Also taking in “Jurassic World” (UPI, 6.4 million admissions) and “Fifty Shades of Grey” (UPI, 6.1 million), five films this year has passed 6 million in tix sales. “That’s fantastic,” said Almeida, whose Filme B, Brazil’s foremost trade publication, also organizes exhibition trade shows Sao Paulo’s Winter Show, and the ShowBúzios, in Rio de Janeiro state.

Brazilian cinema, whose admissions will climb in 2015 to 22 million vs. 2014’s 19.5 million, will see a stronger 2016, Almeida predicted.

For 2015, given an explosion in tix sales, local movie market share will edge down to 11.8%. That’s way down on the seemingly cyclical highs of 2010 (19.0%) and 2013 (18.6%) but may still prove, after Argentina, to be Latin America’s second best single-territory result of this year.

Only one Brazilian movie, serial adulterer comedy “Loucas para casar,” teaming “De Pernas Pro Ar’s” director Roberto Santucci and star Ingrid Guimaraes, made Brazil’s Top Ten cut, selling 3.8 million tix, per Filme B.

Of local fare, five of the six biggest 2015 hits thru late November were comedies. Among arthouse/crossover titles, Sundance-prized, “The Second Mother,” from Anna Muylaert, ranked No. 9 among Brazilian titles, hitting 460,000 admissions – $1.5 million at current exchange rates.

Led by such titles as “Till Luck Do Us Part” and the first theatrical feature from online comedy troupe Porta dos Fundos, Brazil’s 2016 local comedy release slate looks stronger, Almeida said.

Extraordinary but true: Brazil opened about 245 new screens in 2015, per the Filme B study, reaching an around 2,991 total screen park, housed in about 700 theaters. Build, as Brazilian B.O. in general, reflects 18 years of robust public and private-sector investment in infrastructure and the swell of Brazil’s middle classes,” Almeida added.

Another new 150 screens will be added in 2016 as less shopping malls open in Brazil, slowing growth, he said.

Cinemark remains, by a head, Brazil’s biggest theater chain with a 19.9% market share, per Filme B. Mexico’s Cinepolis (11.4%) and rebranded Kinepolis-Severiano Ribeiro (8.4%) follow. With four of Brazil’s five highest-grossers, UPI (23.8% of tix sales), Disney (16.1%), Fox (16.1%), Warner Bros. (8.7%) and Downtown Films/Paris (6.9%) lead Filme B’s distributor table.

While losing ground in 2015, Brazilian cinema may have a Merry Christmas with “Till Luck Do Us Part 3,” the latest outing from the family comedy franchise, bowing Dec. 25.

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