The Pedro Almodóvar comedy I'm So Excited / Los amantes pasajeros had the best Spanish opening weekend ever for an Almodóvar film – in terms of box office receipts (in euros), though not necessarily in number of tickets sold. Distributed by Warner Bros., I'm So Excited collected $2.5 million at 298 locations this past weekend, only slightly behind Sam Raimi's Disney-distributed Oz the Great and Powerful's $2.61 million at 649 venues, according to figures found at Box Office Mojo. (Photo: Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited cast members, including Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, Guillermo Toledo, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Raúl Arévalo, and Carlos Areces.)
Obviously, the per-theater average for I'm So Excited – despite negative reviews in the Spanish media – was much higher than that for the $200m-budgeted Hollywood blockbuster starring James Franco: $8,415 vs. $4,030. Pedro Almodóvar's first out-and-out comedy in two decades, I'm So Excited stars Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, Cecilia Roth, and others as the passengers and crew aboard a troubled Mexico City-bound flight.
Box Office: I'm So Excited vs. Volver
In terms of unadjusted box office earnings (both in euros and US dollars), I'm So Excited beat the domestic opening weekend figures of Almodóvar's 2006 international blockbuster Volver. Starring eventual Best Actress Academy Award nominee Penélope Cruz, Almodóvar's former muse Carmen Maura, and I'm So Excited's Lola Dueñas, Volver opened with $2.17 million at 228 venues in September '06 . Yet, according to Rentrak Spain, Volver sold 335,000 tickets vs. I'm So Excited's 247,000.
Now, those are curious ticket-sale figures, as – if accurate – they indicate an inflation rate of around 50 percent (in euros) in the last six and half years. For comparison's sake, the average price of a movie ticket in the United States has gone up 23 percent during that same period – and the US figure includes current 3D surcharges which were all but nonexistent back in 2006. (See also: Pedro Almodóvar Movies Box Office comparisons.)
So far this year, the only other movies to have outgrossed Oz the Great and Powerful and I'm So Excited at the Spanish box office are Andres Muschietti's partly Spanish-financed Mama and Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. The Jessica Chastain horror thriller Mama collected $3.58 million at 345 sites on its first weekend out, while Django Unchained, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx, took in $3.37 million at 541 locations.
I'm So Excited cast
Besides Javier Cámara, Lola Dueñas, and Cecilia Roth, I'm So Exited features the following: Raúl Arévalo, Carlos Areces, Blanca Suárez, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Antonio de la Torre, Hugo Silva, Laya Martí, José M. Yazpik, Pepa Charro, and Guillermo Toledo. Additionally, I'm So Excited has cameos by Pedro Almodóvar stars Antonio Banderas (Law of Desire, Matador, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, The Skin I Live In) and Penélope Cruz (All About My Mother, Broken Embraces, Volver), plus Paz Vega, Carmen Machi and Susi Sánchez. (Check out Pedro Almodóvar's I'm So Excited Spanish trailer.)
Frequent Pedro Almodóvar collaborators Alberto Iglesias (music) and José Luis Alcaine (cinematography) once again joined forces with the director for I'm So Excited. The film opens in the US on June 28.
I'm So Excited vs. Volver ticket sales source: El Mundo.
I'm So Excited cast photo: Sony Pictures Classics.