- J.A. Bayona’s supernatural psychological thriller The Orphanage has had a remarkable box office debut in its native Spain. Belén Rueda stars as a distraught mother looking for her missing son.
The Orphanage movie box office: J.A. Bayona’s supernatural thriller has second best ever opening for a Spanish movie
Starring Belén Rueda, feature film newcomer J.A. Bayona’s supernatural psychological thriller The Orphanage / El orfanato grossed €5.8 million (US$8.3 million) at the Spanish box office in its first four days out, Oct. 11–14.
According to Variety, that’s the second best opening ever for a Spanish movie – behind only Santiago Segura’s Torrente 3: El protector, which collected US$10.2 million on its first weekend out in September 2005.
Much talked about at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and Spain’s entry for the 2008 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, The Orphanage tells the story of a woman (Belén Rueda) who moves into an old mansion that used to be the foundling home where she grew up. Shortly thereafter, her young son (Roger Príncep) starts talking about his playmates, who just happen to be invisible. And then the boy disappears.
In addition to Belén Rueda and Roger Príncep, the cast includes Fernando Cayo, Mabel Rivera, Montserrat Carulla, Andrés Gertrúdix, Edgar Vivar, Óscar Casas, and veteran Geraldine Chaplin (Doctor Zhivago, Cria Cuervos).
Of note, both Belén Rueda and Mabel Rivera took home Goya Awards for their work in another major Spanish hit, Alejandro Amenábar’s 2004 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner The Sea Inside / Mar adentro. In the role of an attorney suffering from a progressively debilitating disease, the former was named Best New Actress; as tetraplegic Javier Bardem’s stern but caring sister-in-law, the latter was named Best Supporting Actress.
Besides marking director J.A. Bayona’s feature film debut, The Orphanage is also screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez’s first feature effort. One of the producers is Guillermo del Toro, who’s quite familiar with fantastic tales of this kind – see the Spanish Civil War-set dark fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth and the Spanish Civil War-set horror drama The Devil’s Backbone.
Picturehouse will open The Orphanage in limited release on Dec. 28 in the U.S.
“The Orphanage: Ghost Movie” endnotes
Belén Rueda The Orphanage movie image: Picturehouse.
“The Orphanage: Ghost Movie Has Remarkable Box Office Debut” last updated in April 2022.