Mexican holiday film comes in second to Bond

MEXICO CITY — Lemon Films’ holiday pic “Navidad, S.A.” (Christmas, Inc.) netted $1.2 million over a three-day holiday weekend in Mexico with WB Mexico opening the pic on 600 prints, the largest domestic release in the nation’s history.

Pic took in $1,900 per screen and sold 401,764 tickets, coming in second only to Bond blockbuster “Quantum of Solace,” which also bowed this weekend, and knocking “High School Musical 3” to No. 3.

Though a strong opening, it looks like it will have a hard time taking the top domestic production spot for the year over Altavista Film’s “Arrancame la vida,” which opened to $1.5 million and has pulled in $8.86 million to date.

However, the numbers have been somewhat hurt by a nearly 30% devaluation of the peso since “Arrancame’s” opening.

Written and helmed by Lemon co-prexy Fernando Rovzar, “Navidad” updates Santa, played by vet actor Pedro Armendariz, in a world where commercialism has wrecked the Christmas spirit and global warming has melted the North Pole.

Rovzar noted the lack of competition in the genre over the next couple weeks and hoped word of mouth would keep the film strong.

“This being a Christmas movie, it will only become more and more relevant as Christmas Day approaches,” he said.

The film had a massive launch before 20,000 spectators in Mexico City’s massive Zocalo plaza last Wednesday, attended by Mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who hailed Lemon Films’ decision to give half the film’s profits to Televisa-run children’s charity Teleton.

Lemon is simultaneously running a presales campaign for the DVD for an affordable $5 each with a gift, such as a scarf, to arrive in January.

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