Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Here you go, movie fans: 102 million cinema tickets were sold in Spain in 2007, down 20 million from 2006, according to the ministry of culture. (And why we need one I don't know.) 13 million spectators saw Spanish movies, while the other 89 million saw foreign flicks. American movies grossed more than €380 million, and Spanish and British movies were tied for second with €70 million each.

This means English-speaking movies outgrossed Spanish movies by more than six to one--and Spanish movies are subsidized by the government! Give them free money and they still can't make anything people want to watch. Of course, those nasty neo-liberals would say that if you give them free money, they'll be even less likely to make something people might want to see.

"Pirates of the Caribbean III" was the top grosser, with "Shrek III" second and a Spanish flick, "El Orfanato," third. The rest of the top 25 grossing movies were all English-speaking except for number 25, "REC".

A statistic I would like to see is the percentage of spectators who watch English-speaking movies in English, what they call "original version" around here, as opposed to those that watch them dubbed into Spanish. I bet fewer than 5% of tickets sold are for movies in the original English.

By the way, I've noticed a lot of deaf people (how do I know? Because they talk to each other in sign language throughout the film) at theaters showing movies in their original language. This is because those movies are subtitled in Spanish, so the deaf folks can read what's going on.

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