by Staff Reporter

IN spite of videos and DVDs having become an integral part of family entertainment, it would seem that a trip to the cinema is still on the agenda in the Balearic Islands.

Reports released by the central government ministry for Culture yesterday, covering this year up until August 26, revealed that 1.8 million spectators paid to see films at the 97 cinemas in the Balearics. The total spend proved to be over 10.1 million euros.

Analysing the figures of the report on a nationwide basis, the only areas of the country which showed greater public financial outlay on cinema entertainment were: Seville, where 12.7 million euros were clocked up at box offices; Alicante (15.4); Malaga (16.06); Valencia (23.3); Barcelona (63.3) and Madrid (82.8).

At the other end of the scale, those areas of Spain which revealed the lowest spending on the cinema were: Castellón (3.5 million euros); Cordoba (3.4) and Valladolid (3.3).

The total sum collected nationally from cinemas up until the last week in August ran to 377 million euros which was provided from the pockets of 69 million spectators. The cinema halls of Madrid proved to be the most popular, registering an audience total of 14.3 million, followed by Barcelona (10.5 million) and Valencia (4.2), according to the report.

Spanning the period of the report, no less than 1'216 films were shown around the country.
Of this total, 247 claimed production by Spanish professionals whilst the remaining 969 were foreign-made. None of the films made by Spaniards managed to find its way onto the list of 25 which claimed the highest takings, an achievement secured largely by films from the United States.

Only three European films ranked in the top 25.
From Britain, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Mr Bean's Holiday,and from Germany Other Lives.
The five films which did best in the box office takings until 25th August were Pirates of the Caribbean, at World's End which clocked up 20.8 million euros; Shrek 3, 17.3 million; Spiderman 3, 17 million; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 14.7 million; and 300 with 14.5 million.

Looking at the statistics in the report which analysed the ranking of the most popular Spanish films during this period, the top three were:
Pérez, el ratoncito de tus sueños (Pérez, the little mouse of your dreams) which drew audiences totalling 417'000 spectators; Café solo o con ellas (Coffee alone or with the girls) 345'000; and El Equipo Ja, a spoof on the 1970s TV adventure series, The A-Team which was seen by 298'000 people.