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LatinoBuzz: Hollywood Finally Looks to the Latino Market

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by Carlos Aguilar
October 23, 2013 6:00 PM
5 Comments
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'Instructions Not Included'
'Instructions Not Included'

Earlier this year production company Pantelion scored its first major U.S. theatrical hit with the release of Eugenio Derbez' Instructions Not Included, a heartfelt comedy about a father who reconnects with his young daughter. Written, directed, and starring Derbez himself the PG-13 film has grossed close to $35 million playing as a limited release in under 1,000 screens. The success has been overwhelming in all main markets (Los Angeles, New York, Houston, Dallas), becoming not only the highest grossing Spanish-language film in the U.S. but the biggest Mexican film opening weekend ever in Mexico with $11.6 million.

Certainly, the success of the film can be attributed to Derbez' loyal following that knows him from his work in Mexican television and in films like Under the Same Moon. The actor's charismatic image makes him the poster child for Mexican comedy, an asset that prove to strike a chord with Latino audiences both in his home country and in the U.S. Instructions'  presentation as a family film and the publicity efforts by the studio behind it, which is in turn backed by Lionsgate and Televisa, worked splendidly to attract their targeted audience and hopefully open up a market that has long been ignored.

Cinco de Mayo

Pantelion had two other releases this year so far. Back in May the studio released a historical/ war film entitled Cinco de Mayo: The Battle, which retells the events of the fateful day when the seemingly weaker Mexican army repelled a French invasion in 1862. A film like this was the first of its kind in Mexico in terms of production value and resources employed to produce a work of such magnitude. Starring Mexican star Kuno Becker (Goal!, Goal II) in the role of national hero General Ignacio Zaragoza, the film opened on May 3rd both in Mexico and the U.S.

Read a review for the film HERE

Read an interview with Kuno Becker on the film HERE


Pulling Strings

Pulling Strings, the other Pantelion release, opened on October 4th and its a bilingual romantic comedy. The film stars Mexican soap opera actor Jaime Camil and comedian Omar Chaparro. The film has clearly benefited from the recent success of Derbez' film and it has become Pantelion's second consecutive hit grossing over $2.5 million so far, a solid number for any film opening in limited release.

It seems like Hollywood is finally trying to fill up the gap by creating content targeted to the vastly underserved Latino market, who ironically is one of the groups who most regularly goes to the movies. 

Read more on the subject on Variety's article Hollywood Gets 'Instructions' from Latino Audiences

Free Indie Movies and Documentaries    

5 Comments

  • Sydney Levine | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Even though SydneysBuzz is my blog, the writer Carlos Aguilar is making a tremendous contribution of his own. However, as I am writing the chapter on Mexico for the book Iberoamerican Film Financing, I am struck by another comparison which I want to include here:
    After México joined the North American Free Trade Area in the mid-1990s, cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight.

    A resurgence of Mexican films began with the all-time hit 'Amores Perros' in 2001 (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and 'El crimen del Padre Amaro' in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) which up until now with the current hits, 'Nosotros los Nobles' and 'No se aceptan devoluciones' ('Instructions Not Included'), had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film.

    Twelve years later, in six weeks 'No se aceptan devolucions' ('Instructions Not Included') has outgrossed both of them together. (Mexico Televisa’s Videocine BO $43,582,620, U.S. BO $43,615,834).

    The exciting event of a local film out grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

  • Sydney Levine | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Even though SydneysBuzz is my blog, the writer Carlos Aguilar is making a tremendous contribution of his own. However, as I am writing the chapter on Mexico for the book Iberoamerican Film Financing, I am struck by another comparison which I want to include here:
    After México joined the North American Free Trade Area in the mid-1990s, cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight.

    A resurgence of Mexican films began with the all-time hit 'Amores Perros' in 2001 (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and 'El crimen del Padre Amaro' in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) which up until now with the current hits, 'Nosotros los Nobles' and 'No se aceptan devoluciones' ('Instructions Not Included'), had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film.

    Twelve years later, in six weeks 'No se aceptan devolucions' ('Instructions Not Included') has outgrossed both of them together. (Mexico Televisa’s Videocine BO $43,582,620, U.S. BO $43,615,834).

    The exciting event of a local film out grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

  • Sydney Levine | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Even though SydneysBuzz is my blog, the writer Carlos Aguilar is making a tremendous contribution of his own. However, as I am writing the chapter on Mexico for the book Iberoamerican Film Financing, I am struck by another comparison which I want to include here:
    After México joined the North American Free Trade Area in the mid-1990s, cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight.

    A resurgence of Mexican films began with the all-time hit 'Amores Perros' in 2001 (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and 'El crimen del Padre Amaro' in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) which up until now with the current hits, 'Nosotros los Nobles' and 'No se aceptan devoluciones' ('Instructions Not Included'), had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film.

    Twelve years later, in six weeks 'No se aceptan devolucions' ('Instructions Not Included') has outgrossed both of them together. (Mexico Televisa’s Videocine BO $43,582,620, U.S. BO $43,615,834).

    The exciting event of a local film out grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

  • Sydney Levine | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Even though SydneysBuzz is my blog, the writer Carlos Aguilar is making a tremendous contribution of his own. However, as I am writing the chapter on Mexico for the book Iberoamerican Film Financing, I am struck by another comparison which I want to include here:
    After México joined the North American Free Trade Area in the mid-1990s, cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight.

    A resurgence of Mexican films began with the all-time hit 'Amores Perros' in 2001 (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and 'El crimen del Padre Amaro' in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) which up until now with the current hits, 'Nosotros los Nobles' and 'No se aceptan devoluciones' ('Instructions Not Included'), had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film.

    Twelve years later, in six weeks 'No se aceptan devolucions' ('Instructions Not Included') has outgrossed both of them together. (Mexico Televisa’s Videocine BO $43,582,620, U.S. BO $43,615,834).

    The exciting event of a local film out grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

  • Sydney Levine | October 23, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    Even though SydneysBuzz is my blog, the writer Carlos Aguilar is making a tremendous contribution of his own. However, as I am writing the chapter on Mexico for the book Iberoamerican Film Financing, I am struck by another comparison which I want to include here:
    After México joined the North American Free Trade Area in the mid-1990s, cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight.

    A resurgence of Mexican films began with the all-time hit 'Amores Perros' in 2001 (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and 'El crimen del Padre Amaro' in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) which up until now with the current hits, 'Nosotros los Nobles' and 'No se aceptan devoluciones' ('Instructions Not Included'), had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film.

    Twelve years later, in six weeks 'No se aceptan devolucions' ('Instructions Not Included') has outgrossed both of them together. (Mexico Televisa’s Videocine BO $43,582,620, U.S. BO $43,615,834).

    The exciting event of a local film out grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

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