‘Father There is Only One 2’ Ignites Spain Box Office as Barcelona Cinemas Reopen

Father There is Only One, 2
Credit: Jorge Alvarino

Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing International, Santiago Segura’s family comedy “Father There is Only One 2” punched a sensational first-day debut on July 29, garnering €465,014 ($548,716) in Spain.

That’s 60% up from the original installment’s first day total of €272,686 ($320,449), which went on to earn €14.2 million ($16.1 million) in Spain, becoming the highest-grossing domestic movie of last year.

“Spaniards have spent months in confinement, seeing tons of films, and now need to get out and watch movies with other people. It’s a question of mental health,” said Bowfinger International’s María Luis Gutiérrez, producer of “Father There Is Only One 2.” Segura and Gutiérrez used a study by Dimitrios Mitsinikos at Gower Street Analytics to convince themselves that the sequel had box office potential, she said.

Originally scheduled to open in Spanish theaters on Aug. 7, Sony Pictures Releasing International made waves last week announcing that the company was moving the release date for “Father” forward rather than back, shirking popular thinking at the time.

Day one returns seem to indicate that the gamble is paying off for the four-quadrant family comedy.

Hailed as Spain’s summer blockbuster, “Father There is Only One 2” served to power up Spain’s box office by 100% week on week. The film, projected on 600 screens in 335 theaters nationally, accounting for 70% of Spain’s overall box office on Wednesday, according to Comscore.

“This is the best news we’ve seen since COVID-19 crisis started. It proves not only that there is appetite for watching new movies in cinemas, but also, given this is a family movie, that audiences of all ages feel safe in theaters,” Comscore executive VP and global managing director Arturo Guillén told Variety.

He added, “The theatrical industry has been challenged like never before and we at Comscore remain confident again, based on data, that once this crisis is over, movie theaters around the world will see a new golden era of the theatrical experience.”

Wednesday’s box office takings, which came as Spain battles to limit a second-wave of COVID-19, also coincided with the reopening of Barcelona theaters following an injunction from a judge at Catalonia’s Higher Court of Justice that overturned the theaters’ July 18 closure by the Catalan government.

The shutdown formed part of mandated restrictions on social gatherings in Barcelona imposed by its regional government, which lapse on Aug. 1. Barcelona and the surrounding catchment zone included in the shutdown represent roughly 10% of Spain’s box office, meaning “Father’s” prospects look even brighter starting Thursday.

Catalan exhibitors were awaiting on Thursday the publication by the Catalan government of new health rulings, which they trust will not include the closure of cinemas, said Camilo Tarrazón, president of the Catalan Exhibitors Union, before emphasizing that once re-opened, cinemas are liable to still observe a 50% capacity limit.

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Father There is Only One, 2 Credit: Jorge Alvarino