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'Julia's Eyes' punches best Spanish 2010 bow (VARIETY)

Published: 25/11/2010

Confirming predictions, Guillem Morales' psychological thriller "Julia's Eyes" has made the best hometurf bow of any Spanish film this year.
Produced by Rodar y Rodar, Guillermo del Toro, Universal Pictures Intl. and Spanish broadcaster Antena 3, "Eyes" grossed a provisional Euros1.6 million ($2.2 million) off 360 screens over the Oct. 29-31 weekend.

Spain's best bow bar isn't high this year. Previous record-holder was "To Hell With the Ugly," which punched a first three-day $2 million.

"Finally this year, a Spanish film has found a Spanish audience," said producer Joaquin Padro at Rodar y Rodar.

"Eyes" launched on an excellent playdate -- a long weekend in Spain and very little competition beyond "The Town" for local youth/fanboy demos.

Pic was muscularly marketed by Universal Pictures Intl. Spain -- in an all-media push including billboards, buses and at bus stops, and by A3 on TV.

After three weeks with the Spanish box office tracking 60% down on the same period 2009, Spaniards bought into a film marketed as the movie they had to see.

And pic's trawl pays tribute to the pulling power of its lead, Spanish actress Belen Rueda, who also starred in the Rodar y Rodar/Del Toro produced "The Orphanage."

Online word of mouth on "Eyes" looks upbeat: "I don't normally like these kind of films, but 'Eyes' is well worth the visit," was one fairly typical Twitter reaction.

According to Pau Brunet at Spain's BoxOffice.es, "Eyes" could cume a final $10 million in Spain. UPI will release "Eyes" in France and Latin America.