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Latin Universe 2000 bows with three Mexican pics

'Sex' to kick off slate

MIAMI — U.S. distrib Latin Universe has lined up three Mexican pics for its initial slate in 2000.

Created by former Universal Pictures acquisitions exec Ted Perkins and Hispanic marketing specialist Juan Carlos Nieto, Latin Universe is focused on Spanish-lingo and Latin American pics for the U.S. Hispanic market.

Last week it edged out 20th Century Fox to acquire Mexico’s biggest local hit, “Sex, Pudor y Lagrimas,” which will bow in U.S. theaters Feb. 25.

The smash comedy, which chronicles the tangled romantic lives of six thirtysomething urbanites, grossed more than $12 million in Mexico, with Fox as the local distrib. Fox will also handle the pic’s rollout to Latam markets.

Latin Universe will first bring critical and international fest fave “Santitos” to U.S. audiences. Pic’s skedded for release Jan. 28.

An Easter launch is planned for “La India Maria 2000.” Starring a well-known Mexican character, pic initially attracted family audiences in Mexico but ultimately showed broader appeal with its humorous, but pointed, satire of Mexican politics.

“Santitos” and “La India Maria” each grossed over $2 million at the Mexican box office, above average performances for local productions.

Latin Universe aims to distrib eight to 12 pics a year.

While not discounting the possibility of crossing over to Anglo theaters, Nnieto told Daily Variety, “Our company’s mission is to deliver to the Hispanic market first.”

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