19 December 2013 6:06 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Madrid — Smashed by a perfect storm – piracy, economic crisis, a sales tax hike from 8% to 21% on cinema tickets – total theatrical box office in Spain is on track to plunge 15% in 2013 vs. 2012, its worst result in modern times.

Admissions – vital to the exhibition business, driving the lucrative concession business – will take a similar hit.

Neither Hollywood nor local titles have escaped the debacle.

Through Tuesday, provisional total 2013 B.O. came in at Euros 476 ($654.0 million), tix sold at 72.3 million, per Rentrak.

Two weeks off year-end, barring last minute surprises, that sets Spain’s theatrical market on course for around a Euros 507 ($696.6 million) total 2013 box office trawl , repping 78 million admissions.

Pumped by hiked ticket prices, thanks to 3D movie attendance, Spanish box office grosses broadly held up for more than a decade, hitting Euros 600-700 million ($824 million – $962 million) over 2001-12. Ticket sales, in contrast, have fallen from 2004’s 143.9 million in eight of the last nine years. »

- John Hopewell

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