Spanish Box Office Surges 31% in 2023, to 18% Below Pre-Pandemic Levels



Powered by “Barbenheimer,” 2023 box office in Spain surged 31% to €487.5 ($541.1 million), still 18.2% below a pre-pandemic average of €596 million ($661.6 million) over 2015-19.

At 74.9 million tickets sold, admissions rose 26%, 24% down on pre-COVID cinemagoing, according to Comscore Movies Spain, which announced 2023 results through Dec. 29 on Friday. 

“2023 was the third consecutive year of box office recovery in Spain,” David Rodríguez, Comscore Movies general manager for Spain and Portugal, told Variety

That said, Spain’s 2023 recovery looks set to continue down on France’s and Germany’s and most especially the U.K.’s, but in line with Italy’s.

“Economies in Northern Europe are stronger and COVID-19 restrictions on cinema attendance lasted longer in Spain and Italy,” said Rodríguez.

As all over the world, Hollywood’s double strike, which pushed back key releases to 2024 and 2025, created “turbulence,” frustrating a more powerful B.O. rally in Spain, he added.

“2024 will be one more year on transition and real recovery to pre-pandemic levels will be in 2025,” Rodríguez predicted.  

Underscoring a continuing rally at cinema theaters, however, four movies, led by “Barbie,” with €33.7 million ($374.1 million), powered past the €20 million ($22.2 million) mark in Spain, for the first time in Spain since 2019. 

The Super Mario Bros. Movie
©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Barbenheimer” gave Spain its second best summer box office gross in the last 10 years.

A top Disney animated movie making just €12.8 million ($14.2 million) in Spain would in the past have been news. “Elemental” performed in Spain, however, in line with its global gross, with parents knowing they could catch the movie soon on Disney+ after a shortened theatrical window in the country.

Spanish movies market share dipped from 22% in 2022 to 17% this year. Two factors look to be at work. Local title aggregate revenues were flat with last year, not down, but total box office swelled. Nine of the Top 10 Spanish titles were family fare –  “Champions” sequel “Campeonex,” “Mommies” – or comedies, such as “Ocho apellidos marroquís,” in contrast to 2022 when hit Spanish movies ran a far broader gamut.  

Courtesy of Latido Films

Spain Top 10 Highest-Grossing Films, 2023 

1. “Barbie,” Warner Bros, July 20, €33.71 million ($37.41 million) 

2. “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” Universal, April 5, €27.51 million ($30.53 million) 

3. “Avatar, The Sense of Water,” Walt Disney, Dec. 16, 2022, €25.47 million ($28.27 million)     

4. “Oppenheimer,” Universal, July 20, €20.77 million ($23.05 million) 

5. “Fast & Furious X,” Universal, May 19, €12.97 million ($14.39 million)

6. “Elemental,” Walt Disney, July 14, €12.78 million ($14.18 million)

7. “Meg 2: The Trench,” Warner Bros, Aug. 4, €11.98 million ($13.29 million) 

8. “Championext,” Universal, Aug. 18, €11.88 million ($13.18 million) 

9. “The Little Mermaid,” Walt Disney, May. 26, €11.85 million ($13.15 million) 

10. “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny,” Walt Disney Int’l, June 28, €11.79 ($13.08 million) 

Spain’s Top 10 Spanish Highest-Grossing Films, 2023

1. “Championext,” Universal, Aug. 18, €11.88 million ($13.18 million) 

2. “Ocho apellidos marroquís,” Universal, Dec. 1, €8.23 ($9.13 million) 

3. “Summer Vacation,” Sony Int’l, July 6, €7.41 ($8.22 million)

4. “Mommies,” Warner Bros, Feb. 24, €5.91 ($6.56 million) 

5. “One Hell of a Holiday!,” Universal, April 21, €4.80 ($5.32 million) 

6. “Co-Husbands,” Walt Disney, March 10, €4.06 ($4.50 million) 

7. “The Beasts,” A Contracorriente, Nov. 11, 2022, €3.41 ($3.78 million) 

8. “La navidad en sus manos,” A Contracorriente, Dec. 1, €3.04 ($3.37 million) 

9. “El hotel de los lios. Garcia y Garcia 2,” Walt Disney, Mar. 24, €2.22 ($2.46 million) 

10. “How to Become a Modern Man,” Warner Bros Int’l, June 2, €2.13 ($2.36 million)

The Beasts
Greenwich Entertainment

Lorena Jaramillo contributed to this article.


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