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Viradouro: Champion samba school of Rio’s 2020 Carnival

27 Feb

Viradouro, that paraded second on Sunday and which were the runner up in 2019, won its second carnival title in 2020, beating Grande Rio by the smallest of margins having tied after all the marks were added up. Mocidade was third; Beija-Flor, fourth; Salgueiro, fifth and Mangueira, champions in 2019, sixth.

União da Ilha and Estácio de Sá were relegated with Imperatriz promoted to the Grupo Especial. In 2021 twelve schools will parade in the Grupo Especial.

The results of Rio’s Carnival Parade in 2020 were:

  • Viradouro (269.6 out of 270)
  • Grande Rio (269.6)
  • Mocidade (269.4)
  • Beija-Flor (269.4)
  • Salgueiro (269.0)
  • Mangueira (268.9)
  • Portela (268.8)
  • Vila Isabel (268.6)
  • Unidos da Tijuca (267.6)
  • Sao Clemente (267.0)
  • Paraíso do Tuiuti (266.2)
  • Estácio de Sá (264.7)
  • União da Ilha (264.2)

Riotur photos of Viradouro’s parade, “Viradouro de alma lavada”, about As Ganhadeiras de Itapuã.

40 Years On: Frank Sinatra in Rio de Janeiro

20 Jan

40 years ago, in January 1980, the unlikely figure of the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra, arrived in Rio de Janeiro. He landed on 21 January at Rio’s international airport to be the star attraction at the opening of a new five star hotel on Rio’s Copacabana Beach, the Rio Palace. A property that has been recently renovated and is now the Fairmont Rio.

Sinatra had been brought to Rio by the head of the Artplan advertising agency, Roberto Medina, a name familiar now as the man behind the famous Rock in Rio festivals. But it is unlikely that without the visit of Sinatra in 1980 that Rock in Rio would ever have taken place five years later, or that the gates would have opened for other major performers and artists to come to Brazil.

Medina had already worked with Sinatra, having used Ol Blue Eyes in an advert for the Brazilian bottled Scotch Whisky, Passport. Medina had also used David Niven and Burt Bacharach as part of the campaign. Sinatra also had his own links to Brazil having performed and recorded an album with Tom Jobim in 1967, which they followed up with a second in 1969.

Medina paid Sinatra a reported US$1 million for five shows in Rio. Four of these would be for an exclusive nightly audience of just 700 in the Rio Palace’s ballroom on the 22, 23, 24 and 25 of January 1980. The fifth show was altogether more ambitious, a stadium show on Saturday, 26 January at the Maracanã Stadium, which would also be broadcast in Brazil on TV Globo.

The shows at the Rio Palace were the place to be and be seen in Brazil that week of January 1980 (each ticket costing over US$1,000), and did what they were intended to do by putting the hotel on the map, both in Brazil and internationally. Few hotels outside of Las Vegas had the clout to attract Sinatra.

The famous concert at the Maracanã Stadium nearly did not take place, however, due to the weather. It was an open stage located right in the centre of the pitch. The special seats on the grass, closest to the uncovered stage, had been the first to sell out at US$160 each, with tickets in the stands costing just US$6.

Due to the persistent rain on the Friday and through Saturday, it was impossible to mic and wire the orchestra, and for a time it looked as if the concert would be called off and fall foul to the weather. And there was no back up date as Sinatra had to return to the US.

At 21.00, on the night of 26 January, Sinatra walked on stage just as the rain stopped and performed to the largest crowd of his career, 175,000 people, a crowd that went into the Guinness Book of record as the largest paying audience for a single act.

 

In honour of Brazil, Sinatra started with “The Coffee Song” which he followed by his repertoire of hits including “The Lady is a Tramp”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “My Way”, “Strangers In the Night”, which the crowd sang with Sinatra when he appeared to forget the lyrics, and his new hit that year, “New York, New York”. In all Sinatra performed for one hour and forty-five minutes.

Not only were Sinatra’s shows in Rio historic, but it showed that Brazil could hold major concerts. Sinatra was followed at Maracanã by Sting, Tina Turner, Kiss, Madonna, The Police, The Rolling Stones, Roger Waters, and the Pope, no-less, and in 1991 Medina’s own Rock in Rio II with headline acts such as Prince, Santana, George Michael, Guns’n Roses, A-ha! and INXS among others. But it was to be Sir Paul McCartney who, on another wet Saturday, would break Sinatra’s record for the paying public for a single act, when he sold an estimated 180,000 tickets for his show at the Maracanã

Sinatra was to return to play Brazil one more time, in August 1981 when he played the Maksoud Plaza hotel in São Paulo.

Brazilian Film Box Office in 2019

12 Jan

Back in November 2018 panellists at Festival do Rio’s RioMarket were unanimously optimistic about the state of the Brazilian theatrical film market for 2019, after what all agreed had been a difficult year in 2018 for distribution, exhibition and getting “bums on seats”.

It turns out those panelists had a right to be optimistic. Ticket sales increased from 163.4 million in 2018 to 172.2 million in 2019, with 19.7 million of those being for “Avengers: Endgame”. Revenues in reais (the Brazilian currency) hit the historic high of R$2.74 billion in 2019, up 13% from 2.42 billion in 2018 and beating the previous high of R$2.7 billion in 2017. The year also saw the opening of another 174 screens, taking the total to 3,505. Another record.

Domestic Brazilian titles were responsible for 11.5% of that revenue in 2019, or R$315m, up 13% from R$279m in 2018, but actual ticket sales for Brazilian films were down 1.2% from 22.9m tickets in 2018 to 22.6m in 2019, with 2.5 million of those, or nearly 10%, sold in the final week of 2019 thanks to the comedy “Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 3” (My Mom is a Character 3). 327 Brazilian titles were released in 2019, down 11% from 367 in 2018, while international titles released in 2019 were 560, down 1.7% from 570 in 2018.

For nearly a decade, up to 2017, Brazil’s theatrical market had experienced growth. It had to stop at some point, so after eight consecutive years of increased ticket sales and revenues, 2017 became the year of no growth in Brazil, but the numbers were still very strong. 2018 was to see a further decline in ticket sales, and the first decline in 12 years in box office revenues in the local currency. But head offices in the US were still not complaining about the results they were seeing from Brazil, still one of the world’s largest cinema going markets.

Cinema admissions in Brazil had now gone from 89.1 million in 2008 to 112.7m in 2009; 134.9m in 2010; 143.2m in 2011; 146.6m in 2012, the year Brazil hosted the World Cup; 149.5m in 2013; 155.6m in 2014; 173m in 2015, to the record breaking 184.3 million in 2016, surprisingly the year of the Rio Olympics. In 2017, no record, but still the very respectable sales of 181 million ticket were achieved, a drop of just 1.5%, compared with 2016, but still the second best year on record, before the drop of 10.1% to 163.4m in 2018, but now an increase of 7.6% to 172.2m ticket sales in 2019.

The strength and volatility of the US dollar against the Brazilian real has meant dollar values were down in 2019. 2017’s gross had represented US$749.7 million at the time, up from US$726m in 2016 and just US$486m in 2015, while 2018’s dollar revenues were down to US$630m, and 2019’s box office is estimated to have been worth around US$594 million. But if exchange rates worked against them, the studios should still be happy with the number of “bums on seats”.

In 2018 factors contributing to what was seen as a disappointing year for ticket sales and revenues for the big screen in Brazil included the World Cup, the Brazilian Presidential Elections, and a truckers strike that almost brought Brazil to a halt for two weeks. Panellists at Rio Market also mentioned a disappointing line up of both domestic and international titles that had failed to find or excite an audience in Brazil. In fact 2018 was generally very sluggish in Brazil with only 127 million tickets having been sold up until the end of September, mainly thanks to the April release of “Avengers: Infinity War”, before the market showed signs of recovery in October and early November thanks to “A Star is Born”, “Venom”, “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”, and in December “Aquaman”.

Panellists at RioMarket were particularly encouraged by “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” because these two films did not fill the normal blockbuster form of an established franchise or action character. All panellists, however, noted that both for international and domestic Brazilian releases, it was around the top ten to 15 releases that did really well, with the other 400+ titles struggling and offering a lot of room for improvement.

2019’s box office, however, was firmly dominated again by established franchises or action characters with “Avengers: Endgame” becoming the most watched film of all time in Brazil with sales of 19.2 million tickets, and Disney’s “The Lion King” selling 15.8 million to make it the third most watched of all time after “Titanic” in 1998. “Avengers: Infinity War” is fourth on the list

The average occupancy rates of the 3,500 screens in Brazil, the majority in multiplexes and over 30% of them in the state of São Paulo and 11% in Rio, has been running at around 18-19%, yet capacity is a problem in Brazil whenever a major blockbuster, like “Avengers” is released. There is no question that Brazil is under screened with just one screen for every 62,293 people, compared with 8,123 in the US or 15,253 for the UK.

The expansion of screens in Brazil, now back to the levels of the 1970s, also slowed in 2018 and 2019 and this has been put down to the economic climate in Brazil that saw a slowing in the expansion of shopping centres where new screens would be located. Shopping Centre screens are also the most successful in Brazil in terms of revenues and tickets sales. Having said that, 174 screen did open in 2019 (44 closed), taking the total of screens past the 3,500 mark. Since 2017 it is estimated that 434 new screens have come online, with 350 of those in the interior of the country and just 84 in the main cities.

In 2019 six cinema complexes in Brazil sold more than one million tickets in the year, those being UCI NYCC (Rio de Janeiro); Cinemark Guarulhos (São Paulo); UCI Kinoplex Norte Shopping (Rio de Janeiro); Kinoplex Dom Pedro (Campinas); Cinemark Aricanduva (São Paulo); and UCI Kinoplex Shopping Iguatemi (Fortaleza). Rio de Janeiro remains the state with the highest market share for domestic Brazilian releases.

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2019

  1. Avengers: Endgame (US$85.7 million from tickets sales of 19.2 million)
  2. The Lion King (US$69.5m / 15.8m)
  3. Captain Marvel (US$38.1m / 8.8m)
  4. Joker (US$38.1m / 9.4m)
  5. Toy Story 4 (US$32.7m / 7.8m)
  6. Spider Man: Far From Home (US$28.3 / 6.4m)
  7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (US$22.3m/ 5.6m)
  8. Aladdin (US$19.9m / 4.7m)
  9. Minha Vida em Marte (US$17.5m / 4.3m) *
  10. Ralph Breaks the Internet (US$17.3m / 4.3m)
  11. How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (US$14.4m / 3.8m)
  12. Nada a Perder 2(Nothing To Lose 2 – US$13.7m / 5.2m) *
  13. Aquaman (US$12.4m 2.9m)
  14. Shazam! (US$12m / 2.9m)
  15. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (US$10.2 / 2.7m)
  16. Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 3 (My Mom is a Character 2 – US$7.6m / 2.6m) *
  17. Dumbo (US$7.6m / 1.8m)
  18. Turma da Monica: Laços (Monica’s Gang – US$7.5m / 2m) *
  19. De Pernas Pro Ar 3 (Head Over Heels 3 – US$7m / 1.8m) *
  20. The Secret Life of Pets (US$7m / 1.9m)

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2018

  1. Avengers: Infinity War (US$66.7million from tickets sales of 14.5 million)
  2. Incredibles 2 (US$37.5m / 9.8m)
  3. Black Panther (US$35.8m / 7.4m)
  4. Nada a Perder (Nothing To Lose – US$33m / 12.2m) *
  5. Aquaman ($23.2m / 5.6m)
  6. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (US$21.8m / 4.8m)
  7. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (US$20.8m / 5.2m)
  8. The Nun (US$20m / 5.3m)
  9. Fifty Shades Freed (US$19.7m / 4.3m)
  10. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (US$19.5m / 5.4m)
  11. Venom (US$19m / 4.6m)
  12. Deadpool 2 (US$18.8m / 4.6m)
  13. Ferdinand (US$14.4m / 3.4m)
  14. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (US$14.2m / 3.5m)
  15. Bohemian Rhapsody (US$13.3m / 2.9m)
  16. Ant Man and the Wasp (US$13m / 3.2m)
  17. Mission Impossible – Fallout (US$11.8m / 2.5m)
  18. Os Farofeiros (The Beachnickers – US$9.8m / 2.6 m) *
  19. Coco (US$9.4m / 2.6m)
  20. Fala Serio Mãe ( US$9m /  2.4m) *

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Top 20 grossing films of the year in Brazil in 2017

  1. Fast & Furious 8: The Fate of the Furious ( US$41.8m from tickets sales of 8.5 million)
  2. Beauty and the Beast (US$41.5m / 8.3m);
  3. Despicable Me 3 (US$35.9m / 8.89m, the highest ticket sales of the year);
  4. Justice League (US$35.9m / 8.4m);
  5. Wonder Woman (US$ 33m / 7m);
  6. Spider-Man: Homecoming ($32m /6.7m);
  7. Thor: Ragnarok (US$30.4m / 6.4m)
  8. Logan (US$29.2m / 6.4m);
  9. Minha Mãe É Uma Peça 2 (My Mom is a Character 2 – US$27.9m / 6.5m) *
  10. The Shack (US$23.6m / 5.1m)
  11. Moana (US$22.9m / 5.1m)
  12. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (US$21m / 4.2m)
  13. Fifty Shades Darker (US$20.3m / 4.6m)
  14. It (US$19.9m / 4.4m)
  15. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (US$16.7m /  3.6m)
  16. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (US$16.1m / 3.1m)
  17. Wonder (US$16.1 / 4.1)
  18. The Boss Baby (US$13.9m / 3.3m)
  19. War of the Planet of the Apes (US$13.4m / 2.7m)
  20. The Mummy (US$13.3m / 3m)

* Domestic Brazilian Release

Anglo-Brazilian Society / Anglo-Portuguese-Society Joint reception

4 Dec

The Anglo-Brazilian Society and the Anglo-Portuguese Society hosted a very special evening for members, friends and guests at the residence of the Portuguese Ambassador, to London, HE Manuel Lobo Antunes, on Monday 2 December. The societies joined forces to celebrate Christmas and the year end in style. A great way to start the Festive season.

Guest included the Portuguese Ambassador and senior diplomats from both embassies. Baroness Hooper, who is a senior member of both the Portuguese and Brazilian All Party Parliamentary groups, was present, as was Sir Peter Heap, an ex-British Ambassador to Brazil and a board member of the ABS.

The evening offered the tastes and flavours of both Brazil and Portuguese. Brazilian chef, Luciana Berry worked with the team at the Portuguese Ambassador’s residence to prepare the food that reflected both countries, while Portuguese wines and Brazilian caipirinhas were served. Brazilian musician Aleh Ferreira performed a selection of bossa nova and MPB favourites.

Chris Pickard of Critical Divide is chair of the Anglo-Brazilian Society and Sandro Carito of Carito International is chair of the Anglo-Portuguese Society.

Wallpaper Magazine picks two from Brazil amongst world top eight urban hotels

1 Dec

Brazil is home to two of the eight hotels chosen by Wallpaper* magazine from a short list of 37 as the best urban hotels in the world for 2019.

The chosen hotels in Brazil, the only in Latin America, are the Janeiro hotel in Rio, which fills the building on the beachfront in Leblon that many will remember as the Marina Rio, and the B Hotel in Brasilia.

The other hotels listed by Wallpaper were The Jaffa in Tel Aviv; Trunk House in Tokyo; Soho House in Mumbai; Rosewood in Hong Kong; Raffles in Singapore; and The August in Antwerp.

As Wallpaper noted: “These destination hotels demonstrate flexibility in a brave and competitive new world.  There’s never been a more exciting time to check in.”

Full story in the December edition of Wallpaper. Click Here

50 Best Restaurants in Latin America

11 Oct

The list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2019 was revealed on 10 October 2019 at the seventh annual Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, that was held at Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With seven new restaurants and entries across eight countries, the 2019 list reflects the diversity of the ever-evolving Latin American gastronomic scene.

Maido in Lima took the No.1 spot for the third consecutive year, retaining its status as The Best Restaurant in Latin America. Maido, or ‘welcome’ in Japanese, is the flagship restaurant of chef Mitsuharu ‘Micha’ Tsumura, serving inventive tasting menus of Peruvian-Japanese bites such as fish hotdog and sea urchin rice, alongside à la carte options and a classic sushi counter.

Three-time former winner Central is at No.2. Pujol, in Mexico City, is ranked at No.3, followed by Don Julio in Buenos Aires at No.4 and Boragó in Santiago at No.5 – receiving the titles of The Best Restaurant in Mexico, Argentina and Chile, respectively.

Mexico and Peru lead the 2019 list with 11 entries each, including Alcalde for Mexico, winner of the Highest Climber Award, and Central for Peru, recipient of the Sustainable Restaurant Award. Brazil claims nine spots – including new entries Evvai and Manu – followed by Argentina with eight entries and Chile with six.

This year, Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants features seven new entries: Kjolle, Pía León’s rising restaurant based in Lima, receives the Highest New Entry Award, occupying the No.21 spot on the list. De Patio in Santiago, Chile enters the list at No.34; Mil in Cusco, Peru sits at No.36; La Docena in Mexico City’s Polanco district occupies No.38; while Manu in Curitiba, Brazil enters the list at No.42. The seventh new entry is Mayta from Lima, Peru at No.49.

Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019:

1 Maido (Lima, Peru) *The Best Restaurant in Latin
America/The Best Restaurant in Peru
26 La Mar (Lima, Peru)
2 Central (Lima, Peru) *Sustainable Restaurant Award 27 Rosetta (Mexico City, Mexico)
3 Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico) *The Best Restaurant in Mexico 28 Máximo Bistrot (Mexico City, Mexico)
4 Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina) *The Best Restaurant in
Argentina
29 Chila (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
5 Boragó (Santiago, Chile) *The Best Restaurant in Chile 30 Ambrosía (Santiago, Chile)
6 A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil) *The Best Restaurant in
Brazil
31 Nicos (Mexico City, Mexico)
7 El Chato (Bogotá, Colombia) *The Best Restaurant in
Colombia
32 Le Chique (Cancun, Mexico)
8 Leo (Bogotá, Colombia) 33 Parador La Huella (José Ignacio, Uruguay) *The Best Restaurant in
Uruguay
9 Osso (Lima, Peru) 34 De Patio (Santiago, Chile) *New Entry
10 D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil) 35 Olympe (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
11 Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico) 36 Mil (Cusco, Peru) *New Entry
12 Isolina (Lima, Peru) 37 Restaurante 040 (Santiago, Chile)
13 Astrid y Gastón (Lima, Peru) 38 La Docena (Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico) *New Entry
14 Alcalde (Guadalajara, Mexico) *Highest Climber 39 El Baqueano (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
15 Pangea (Monterrey, Mexico) 40 Evvai (São Paulo, Brazil) *New Entry
16 Sud 777 (Mexico City, Mexico) 41 La Docena (Guadalajara, Mexico)
17 Maito (Panama City, Panama) *The Best Restaurant in
Panama
42 Manu (Curitiba, Brazil) *New Entry
18 Maní (São Paulo, Brazil) 43 Mocotó (São Paulo, Brazil)
19 Rafael (Lima, Peru) 44 Osaka (Santiago, Chile)
20 Mishiguene (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 45 Elena (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
21 Kjolle (Lima, Peru) *Highest New Entry 46 Gran Dabbang (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
22 Harry Sasson (Bogotá, Colombia) 47 99 (Santiago, Chile)
23 Oteque (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) 48 Malabar (Lima, Peru)
24 Lasai (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) *Art of Hospitality Award 49 Mayta (Lima, Peru) *New Entry
25 Tegui (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 50 Narda Comedor (Buenos Aires, Argentina)

 

TV Globo expands studio complex in Rio

9 Aug

Brazil’s largest media group, Grupo Globo, has inaugurated three new studios and an expanded backlot to make Estúdios Globo in Jacarepagua in Rio de Janeiro the largest TV production centre in Latin America.

Between them the three new wireless studios cover an area equivalent to four football pitches. In total the complex now has thirteen studios, including two for shows involving an audience.

The first production to use the new facility in October will be the TV Globo novela “Amor de Mãe”, written by Manuela Dias and directed by José Luiz Villamarim.