The Spanish theatrical market
Between 2001 and 2012, admissions figures dropped from 146.8 to 94.2 million, with a loss of 4 million more spectators between 2011 and 2012. Box office revenues also dropped, despite increases to the average ticket price. This phenomenon can be explained by several factors: the arrival of the Internet, P2P, downloading (in particular illegal downloading), home cinema, spectator habits, the economic crisis, along with the lack of interest in cinema demonstrated by television channels. Added to all these key elements is a step taken by the Spanish Minister of Finance, who decided to increase the VAT on movie tickets from 8% to 21% from September 2012. In the Euro zone the VAT is 10.1% and 7% in France.
The number of screens also continues to diminish: the country now has 4003 theaters compared with 4044 in 2011. A study done by Pricewaterhouse noted that the loss resulting from the VAT increase would probably lead to a B.O. drop of €10 million per year for the Spanish market. Mythical theaters (Cinémas Renoir run by Alta Films) have been shut down in many Spanish cities.
Despite this troubling situation, in 2012, Spanish cinema came off well because it registered its best market share in 27 years (19.4%) and the highest in absolute value (€106 million) thanks to two productions: Lo Impossible and Las aventuras de Tadeo Jones (respectively 1st and 3rd in the annual Top 10). These two films enabled the disastrous effects of the VAT increase to be curbed and also confirmed yet again that Spanish film production and, above all, the results it achieves in theaters, often come down to the presence of 2 or 3 strong films.
The market share of films from the United States again suffered a further decrease, dropping below 60%. However, French cinema enjoyed a prosperous year, with a 7.2% market share, albeit in a market with a worldwide downturn.
As in 2011, 6 majors occupied the leading positions in the distributors' listings. We should note the arrival in this category of A Contracorriente Films, who, thanks mainly to the success of The Intouchables, managed to rise to 8th place.
In a highly difficult context, French cinema managed relatively well in Spain. From 54 releases, French productions registered almost 6.8 million admissions, being €43.5 million and a market share of 7.2%. Although this market share is among the best in a long time (a decrease in overall admissions), French cinema did not overtake its admissions record established in 2005, with 7.4 million admissions.
It is also important to emphasize that more than 5.5 million of these admissions arose from French-language films. Although The Intouchables (2.6 million admissions) and The Artist (658,000 admissions) largely contributed to this year's good results, we shouldn't forget the fine successes of In the House (206,500 admissions), Delicacy (196,000 admissions), Service Entrance / The Women on the 6th Floor (191,200 admissions), Snows of Kilimanjaro(154,000 admissions), What's in a Name (143,000 admissions), and Capital (131,000 admissions).
In terms of foreign-language productions, Taken 2 attracted 588,000 admissions, while Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy appealed to 132,000 spectators. The Spanish market hosts twenty distributors loyal to French cinema. Golem was once again the leader in the distribution of French productions, releasing 12 films. It was followed by Vértigo Films (in partnership with Wild Bunch, with 8 films) and A Contracorriente Films (6 films). We note that one of the historic distributors of French cinema (Alta Films - 5th in 2012 for French films) unfortunately had to cease its activities in 2013 after shutting down its many theaters. As has been noted by many of it competitors, institutions, and UniFrance Films, this testifies to the unhealthy state of the Spanish market, despite 2012 being a notably good year for French films.