AUDIENCES IN SPAIN THRONG CINEMAS AFTER LOCKDOWN: SEQUEL RELEASED NOW BIGGER HIT THAN FIRST PART | 11 August, 2020

In what should come as music to the ears of lovers of big-screen entertainment in India, as in the rest of the world, the sequel of a Spanish film has done 8% better business so far during the pandemic times although lesser cinemas are operating in Spain now than last year when the film’s first part was released. The sequel in question is titled Padre No Hay Más Que Uno 2 (Father There Is Only One 2) and it is produced by Sony Pictures International Productions and Bowfinger. It is a family comedy sequel of a film released in 2019. The first part had grossed $15.9 million whereas the sequel, which opened on 29th July, could end up at over $17 million.

Interestingly, the number of cinemas currently open in Spain is 376 while for the original film, there were 539 cinemas. In other words, the sequel has done better than the first part, with 30% lesser cinemas, that too, with capacity restrictions ranging from 30% to 80% levels! It may also be mentioned here that Spain had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

If the same public sentiments were to be replicated in India when cinemas reopen, it would come as a lesson to all those Bollywood producers who rushed to premiere their films on OTT platforms, mainly on Amazon Prime, Disney+ Hotstar and Netflix. For, the example of Spain might prompt them to think that they erred in hurrying to release their films, bypassing theatrical release.

Opinion has been divided about whether people will return to cinemas once they reopen. The Spanish example gives hope that humans all over the world are waiting to throng cinemas, tired of being cooped up in their homes for months during the pandemic lockdown. Hollywood studio Disney just recently announced that its multi-million dollar extravaganza, Mulan, would premiere on its OTT platform, Disney Plus.

Padre No Hay Más Que Uno 2 opened on 29th July in Spain and it grossed $2.6 million in its 5-day weekend, marking the biggest debut in Spain this year. Till 9th August (end of second weekend), the film had grossed $5.5 million, which is 8% more than what the first part did in ten days. In the second weekend too, the film was on top of the box-office charts.

It may be mentioned here that spurred on by the desire to help cinemas, producer Gutiérrez approached Comscore and its London-based partner, Gower Street, to do a study on the implications of releasing the film in July/August. The film was earlier scheduled to hit the screens on 7th August but its release was advanced to 29th July. Comscore and Gower Street predicted, in the midst of great uncertainty, that it would be ideal to release the sequel in cinemas. Bowfinger’s Gutiérrez and Sony decided to go with the findings of the study, and the rest, as they say, is history.

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