×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Luna sees stellar ‘Abel’ bow

Platform hit for thesp's helming debut

MADRID — Diego Luna (“Milk,” “Y tu mama tambien”) has seen “Abel,” his fiction feature directorial debut, break records for a platform release in his native Mexico.

Bowing May 28, “Abel” is the biggest opening ever for top Mexican production house Canana, the groundbreaking shingle the thesp-turned-director and producer founded in 2004 with Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz.

Bowed on just 64 prints by Videocine, the movie distrib arm of Mexican TV giant Televisa, “Abel” grossed a standout Pesos 3.2 million ($249,312) Friday to Sunday. Monday cume ran to $281,415.

B.O. bests by a mile Mexico’s previous biggest limited release opener, “Shakespeare in Love,” which grossed approx. $150,000 in its first-weekend, Cruz told Variety.

Faced with big hitters such as “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time,” “Marmaduke,” “Robin Hood” and “Iron Man 2,” “Abel” ranked No. 6 on Mexico’s weekend charts. But its first-weekend per-print average — $3,895 — trounced all rivals save for “Prince’s” $8,428.

“Abel” will now expand to a further 40 locations around Mexico City, Cruz said. It will then roll out in Northern Mexico.

A broken family dramedy, “Abel” turns on a nine-year-old boy behaving, after his father walks out, as the father of the house.

World preeming at Sundance, “Abel” also played Cannes as a Special Screening, reaping critical plaudits.

Part of its standout bow, the best by a Mexican film this year, can also be put down to its two-pronged promotion, attacking both mass audiences and grass-roots demos.

In a ground-breaking move, Televisa broadcast breakfast satellite link-ups from Cannes, featuring “Abel” and other Mexican films such as best actor (Javier Bardem) winner “Biutiful” and Camera d’Or recipient “Leap Year.”

Meanwhile, Luna hit the road in Mexico, screening “Abel” at hospitals and to audiences of single mothers.

Cruz said: “We gave ‘Abel’ all the exposure we could. It seems to have worked. And people love the film.”

More Film

  • 2020 Oscar Presenters: Zazie Beetz, Timothée

    Timothée Chalamet, Zazie Beetz, Gal Gadot Join List of 2020 Oscar Presenters

    Show producers Lynette Howell Taylor and Stephanie Allain have announced additional presenters for the 92nd Academy Awards telecast. Zazie Beetz, Timothée Chalamet, Will Ferrell, Gal Gadot, Mindy Kaling, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Ramos, Mark Ruffalo, Kelly Marie Tran and Kristen Wiig will be presenting statuettes during the evening’s ceremony. Though none are nominated for [...]

  • Palm Springs

    'Palm Springs': Film Review

    There are far worse places to be stuck for eternity than Palm Springs. Like Punxsutawney, the town Bill Murray can’t escape in “Groundhog Day,” for example. So many copycat time-loop movies have come along in the 27 years since that each new imitator can’t help sounding like a broken record, which is what makes Max [...]

  • American cinematographer Robert Richardson (L) and

    Poland to Build $200 Million Cinema Institution in Toruń

    Poland is setting up a new national cinema institution, named the European Film Center Camerimage, to be housed in a new building in Toruń at a cost of almost $200 million, which is scheduled to be completed in 2025. The director of the new body is Kazik Suwala, former office director of the Camerimage Film [...]

  • Into the Deep Review

    'Into the Deep': Film Review

    Documentary filmmaker Emma Sullivan was already there when inventor Peter Madsen’s submarine, the UC3 Nautilus, went missing off the coast of Copenhagen in August 2017, with journalist Kim Wall on board. Sullivan had been filming Madsen, a hobbit-y egotist with electric blue eyes, for 18 months, and until that day, she believed she was making [...]

  • China leads the world in volume

    China Suspends Film Shoots Across the Country as Coronavirus Epidemic Worsens

    The largest film studio on the planet, China’s Hengdian World Studios, has announced it will shut down indefinitely, as productions in other parts of the country also announce they are closing up shop in light of the worsening coronavirus epidemic.  On Monday, the local government management committee in charge of the experimental industrial zone where [...]

  • Kobe Bryant Oscar Win Dear Basketball

    Academy Planning Kobe Bryant Tribute During Oscar Ceremonies

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will include a tribute to the late basketball icon Kobe Bryant during the 92nd Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 9. “We can confirm that he will be acknowledged in the telecast,” an Academy representative told Variety. Bryant will be included in the In Memoriam montage of film [...]

  • Zola Cast at Sundance

    How Janicza Bravo and the ‘Zola’ Cast Brought the Viral Twitter Thread to Life

    Five years after A’Ziah Wells King posted the Twitter thread known as #thestory — a tale of how a trip from Detroit to Tampa, Fla., to earn money stripping quickly devolved into a wild ride, featuring a kidnapping, a shooting, sex trafficking and a suicide attempt — the real-life “Zola” is celebrating the film adaptation’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content