Toon eggs fry competish

'Huevos' is second highest-grossing Mexican film ever

MEXICO CITY — Animated feature “Una pelicula de huevos” (The Egg Film) has become the second highest-grossing Mexican film ever, behind “El crimen de Padre Amaro.”

The first homegrown pic to open with more than 1 million spectators since “Padre Amaro,” could gross $14 million-15 million for distributor Videocine.

In three weeks of release, its success underscores both Mexico’s burgeoning toon production biz as well as the marketing muscle of Televisa’s Videocine.  

The toon follows an egg that isn’t content to go to his fate as breakfast, but dreams of becoming a big barnyard cock.

While Videocine took full advantage of a megablitz promotion campaign through Televisa’s TV, radio and publications empire, much of the pics success come from its large Internet fan base. Pic grew out of a shoestring Internet startup developed by the film’s writers, directors and producers, brothers Rodolfo and Gabriel Riva Palacio.

Rodolfo studied film in L.A., and Gabriel had been an animator for Disney. With $20,000, they launched HuevoCartoon.com in 2002, and the quirky cartoons starring a group of drunken eggs quickly infected the Latin blogosphere.

Team pitched movie idea to Videocine that same year, and then transformed the morbid, young-adult-oriented humor into a pic that targets families, while offering plenty of veiled yuks for the Internet fan. In January, U.S. Spanish-language web Telemundo began airing “Huevo” cartoons as part of the strategy to further prep U.S. market for the film’s release.

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