Latin American indies continue to struggle against the dominance of Hollywood blockbusters, which crowd out smaller pics from limited exhibition space. With the exception of Mexico perhaps, the rest of the region is vastly underscreened. “We’ve had to be more and more creative in our launches in order to raise our visibility and lure audiences,” says Cineplex’s Elba McAllister.
Further exacerbating their usual woes was the global financial crisis and the H1N1 virus that scared away moviegoers. Several Hollywood tentpole pics had to delay their releases, wreaking havoc on everyone’s release skeds. Markets have stabilized since and nearly gone back to pre-crisis levels.
Top 2009 Indies
“Slumdog Millionaire,” $14.3 million across Latin America, where it was distributed by various local outfits.
“Edge of Darkness,” Imagem Filmes, Brazil
“Garcia,” Cineplex, Colombia
“Lebanon,” Distribution Co., Argentina
“New Moon,” BF Distribution, Chile
“Chloe,” Gussi Films, Mexico