Hollywood Gets ‘Instructions’ from Latino Audiences

Andrew Stewart, Variety, September 24, 2013

It seems Lionsgate and Pantelion have finally found the instructions for how to target widespread Hispanic audiences. Pantelion’s “Instructions Not Included” is the rare film that started with a medium-sized opening and continues to add theaters and increase B.O. in its fourth week.

The $34.3 million domestic grosser is shaping up as a record-breaker in several ways: It’s about to overtake Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth” as the highest-grossing Spanish language film ever in the U.S. It’s also the top limited release (under 1,000 screens) of the year, and this last weekend became the biggest Mexican film opening weekend ever in Mexico, with $11.6 million.

Having expanded to 978 theaters from 348 screens in the past few weeks, “Instructions Not Included” has played well in major markets like Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Dallas, with the highest-grossing theaters in California and Texas.

But why has this film clicked with the large Hispanic audience base where many others have not?

Much of it is due to director and star Eugenio Derbez, a Mexican TV telenovela and variety show star who also voices the donkey in “Shrek” in Mexico and starred in “Under the Same Moon,” which grossed a sizable $12.6 million domestically in 2008.

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Pantelion spent less than $5 million marketing the film—a considerable sum for the specialty company, though hardly comparable to a studio’s marketing spend for a major release.

Latino audiences—the most enthusiastic moviegoing demo in the country, representing 22% of frequent moviegoers with only 16% of the U.S. population—turn out in outsized proportions for animated films and studio pics with Latino thesps like the “Fast and Furious” franchise. But many previous attempts to directly target the massive audience with Spanish-language films or using Latino talent have stumbled, perhaps because the modestly-budgeted efforts looked too much like art films and lacked family appeal.

But that’s not the case with “Instructions,” the PG-13-rated story of man whose way of life is threatened when the mother of his six-year-old daughter resurfaces, which has attracted Latino families across the country who often didn’t feel there was much for them in theaters.

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  • Jenkem Huffington

    I’m prepared to give the entire state of California to Mexico if they’ll agree to take all their hoards back to never return….. I would NOT miss them or Hollywood.

    • So CAL Snowman

      I would miss you . . .

    • leftists are delusional

      I’d through in Oregon and half of Washington state if I had to sweeten the deal.

    • Alexandra1973

      Then watch it fall into the Pacific when the Big One hits.

  • Spartacus

    The mexicraps want to see movies made by their own ? But that’s racist !

    • So CAL Snowman

      Check out the IMDB page for this film or just visit the original link. The cast looks like they could be in a remake of “The Sound of Music” not a brown Mestizo squat monster anywhere to be found. I find it hard to believe that the brown mexicans found in California can relate to the White mexicans featured in this film.

      • Romulus

        The white Mexicans are most likely Spaniards or white actors playing hispanics

      • Bossman

        That is because you don’t know what real Mestizos look like. Just think, a lot of the handsome macho stars of Hollywood in the past were men who were actually part American Indian or part Mexican.

        • joesolargenius

          Anthony Quinn whom I believe to be the best Mexican Actor ever was part Indian and he once claimed that the first sound he heard when being born was gunfire during the Mexican Revolution.
          I have seen some of the pure blooded Indians from Mexico and they are more dangerous than the mixed blooded ones.I personally saw over a dozen people killed in that country during the seventies and eighties . It is a violent place and all the bad asses steered clear of the pure blooded indians whom stood up to them as they would open you up quick.

  • mgs166

    The word “Latino” makes my ears bleed.

  • JohnEngelman

    “Instructions,” the PG-13-rated story of man whose way of life is threatened when the mother of his six-year-old daughter resurfaces.

    – Andrew Stewart, Variety, September 24, 2013

    Did she resurface with his six-year old daughter, demanding back payment for child support?

  • jeffaral

    Last time I checked there were 574 Whites in Mexico this year, down from 575 last year, all of them American expats, including a Mormon colony.

    • joesolargenius

      Guadalajara,Mexico in the state of Jalisco had over 100,000 Americans living there in the eighties, did they all leave or were they not counted.

    • Bossman

      What do you mean by that? There are actually 1 million Americans and Canadians living in Mexico. There are also large quantities of Koreans and Europeans who are now living in Mexico. The New York Times did a story on that just a few days ago.

  • Rex

    Latino audiences—the most enthusiastic moviegoing demo in the country,
    representing 22% of frequent moviegoers with only 16% of the U.S.
    population—turn out in outsized proportions for animated films and
    studio pics with Latino thesps like the “Fast and Furious” franchise

    These people are Ibero-Indians and have nothing to do with being Latins (Latinos). Italians are the Latins. Italy is where the Latins ,the Latin language and culture comes from and not from Spain and not from Latin America.And Latino/Latina is not a Race nor Ethnicity. It’s a language and culture. Both come from Italy.

    We don’t need these destroyers of civilization in this Country and the American entertainment industry should stop pandering to these anti-Americans.

    real latins dot org
    mexica movement dot org

    • Bossman

      Culturally speaking, the Spanish-speaking people of Latin America should be able to call themselves Latin. These Indians and Mestizos are the makers of America and the modern world. Read the book: Indian Givers: How The Indians Of The Americas Transformed The world by Jack Weatherford.

      • Rex

        The Latin is only in their Spanish language. Culturally they are Ibero-Indians.

    • Alexandra1973

      When I think Latin, I think Catholicism. Notice that Mexico, as well as South American countries, tend to be Catholic?