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CINEMA

‘El niño’ gets off to better box office start than phenomenon ‘Ocho apellidos vascos’

New thriller from creators of ‘Cell 211’ surpasses opening weekend set by Spanish hit of the year

Jesús Castro in ‘El niño.’ Ampliar foto
Jesús Castro in ‘El niño.’

El niño, Cell 211 actor Luis Tosar and director Daniel Monzón’s new action thriller, has surpassed the opening weekend box office takings set by the Spanish film phenomenon of the year so far, comedy Ocho apellidos vascos.

The film, about drug smuggling across the Strait of Gibraltar, took €2.9 million over the weekend compared with the €2.7 million taken by Ocho apellidos when it opened. Emilio Martínez Lázaro’s romcom went on to take over €42 million at the Spanish box office, making it the highest-grossing homegrown movie domestically of all time.

According to data from box-office measurement firm Rentrak, El niño beat out international hits Lucy (which took €1.2 million), Guardians of the Galaxy (€0.5 million) and 22 Jump Street (€0.3 million) to sit at the top of the chart this weekend. Only one other Spanish film has got off to a better start on home soil, Juan Antonio Bayona’s English-language The Impossible, which took €8.9 million in its opening weekend in 2012.

After the success of prison drama Cell 211, Daniel Monzón has spent five years preparing El niño, which also features the talents of rising young star Jesús Castro and was made on a budget of €7 million.