Reel Blog

Una dia sin cinema

Spanish cinemas have gone on strike.

For a day, anyway. Variety reports on plans for a Monday closure of Spanish movie theaters to protest the government’s new draft film law. The somewhat hard-pressed exhibition sector is upset that some long-standing concerns are either being ignored or implemented in ways they see as detrimental to the health of the industry:

Spanish exhibitors are riled at being ignored in the new draft law, which makes no mention of many of their demands: tougher anti-piracy measures, a reduction in U.S. major studios rentals in Spain, and the creation of legally enforceable six month windows between a film’s theatrical bow and its release on other platforms.

The film bill, which is expected to be fast-tracked through parliament, does maintain an exhibition screen quota, which forces most hard tops to dedicate one of every four screenings to Spanish or non-Spanish European films.

What effect, if any, the Monday closure will have remains to be seen: it’s one of the slowest days of the week for moviegoing in Spain.

Update: The Hollywood Reporter also covers the story, adding some interesting highlights, including estimates of 4,000 screens participating in the shutdown and a loss to exhibitors Monday of roughly $1.3 million. It also notes that exhibitors struck in 1994 over the screen quota issue to no avail.