‘Star Wars’ Challenges For Third-Best First-Weekend Ranking in Spain

Pre-sales, elections trim still boffo opening results

MADRID – Punching €8.4 million ($9.1 million) by mid-morning Monday in Spain, with some smaller Spanish cinema theaters still to report, “Star Wars – The Force Awakens” looked on track to deliver the third-to-fifth biggest opening weekend of all time in Spain.

Spain’s best-ever first-weekend record was set at €9.2 million ($10.0 million), notched up by “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.” Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible” notched up €8.97 million ($9.7 million, at current exchange rates), “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” €8.9 million ($9.7 million) and “The Da Vinci Code” (€8.78 million: $9.5 million).

Whole still excellent, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens’” first weekend result, including Thursday’s midnight screenings, is below some exhibitors’ estimations on Saturday morning after a vibrant first-day Friday figures. But it does not annul the near across-the-board good-word-of-mouth for “The Force” among early spectators and, for what they may count on such a B.O. juggernaut, among critics.

The first weekend B.O. is, however, making the Spanish industry more cautious about predicting a final figure for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in Spain.

“Ticket pre-sales were so high that a lot of people thought there wouldn’t be free seats to see the film,” said Eva Rekettyei, programming manager at Spain’s Yelmo Cines.

Producing an inconclusive victory for the ruling Popular Party (PP), Spain’s Sunday general elections may have taken their toll on attendance.

“Also, the fan-base turnout was so high on Friday, that the day, which normally accounts for about 20% of weekend tix sales, encouraged higher expectations for the full weekend,” Rekettyei explained.

“The results are still excellent but now caution prudence” about a final cume for Star Wars: the Force Awakens” in Spain, she added.

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