Monstar Calls, A: Bayona’s Film Starring Liam Neeson is Spain’s Most Popular Film

A Monster Calls has become the highest-grossing film in Spain this year, besting big Hollywood studio titles and giving director Juan Antonio Bayona his third No. 1 movie of the year.

Starring Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, and distributed by Universal Pictures Intl., “A Monster Calls” grossed €235,341 ($262,057) on Friday at Spanish cinema theaters for a total Spanish gross of €21.9 million ($24.4 million).

Bayona’s first feature, “The Orphanage,” which was supported by Guillermo del Toro, topped Spanish movie charts in 2007, earning €25.1 million ($27.9 million) and again beating all Hollywood contenders.

“The Impossible” (€42.4 million, or $47.2 million) followed suit in 2012.

The film’s performance gives Bayona three of the six biggest Spanish movie hits of all time in his native Spain.
Only Emilio Martinez Lazaro, who helmed both “8 Apellidos Vascos” (€55.4 million: $61.7 million) and “8 Apellidos Catalanes”  (€35.4 million: $39.4 million), both broad farces that riff on national stereotypes in Spain can compare in popularity.

How will “A Monster Calls” play abroad?  It is slated to open in the U.S. via Focus Features on December 23 on limited release, then go wide January 6.