Pantelion Films is set to reach its annual goal of six releases in July with English-language demon possession “The Vatican Tapes,” starring Michael Pena.
Since its inception in 2010, the joint venture between Mexican media conglom Televisa and Lionsgate has acquired and invested in titles aimed at the U.S. Hispanic market.
“We think comedy is where opportunity lies, as well as in family and horror genres to some extent,” said Pantelion COO Edward Allen.
To that end, Pantelion has picked up the third of the hit “Huevos” animation franchise pics, “Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos,” for a late summer release, followed by Joe Menendez’s “Ladrones,” the sequel to heist comedy “Ladron que Roba a Ladron.”
“Ladrones” was one of two pics shot in the Dominican Republic under a multipicture deal with Lantica Media, formerly Indomina, which taps the island nation’s generous film incentives and makes use of the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios, owned by Lantica and managed by the Pinewood Studios Group.
The first pic under the accord, now in post, was romantic comedy “Complices,” produced by “Nosotros los Nobles” and “Pulling Strings” producer Leo Zimbron.
Tapping Mexican incentives is also key to Pantelion’s low-budget strategy, with most of its releases sporting budgets of around $3 million each.
Pantelion has an informal output arrangement with “Amores Perros” co-producer Francisco Gonzalez Compean and his new shingle Draco Films, which produced buddy comedy “Compadres,” starring comic Omar Chaparro in his first action role, with Kevin Pollak as his sidekick. Penned by Ted Perkins and Gabriel Ripstein, the bilingual comedy has all the elements of a hit, says Compean, whose development slate includes a romantic comedy by helmer-scribe Catalina Aguilar (“Las Horas Contigo”). “Compadres” is in post and set for release early next year.
Pantelion gained some real traction in 2013 with Eugenio Derbez’s comedy “No Instructions Included,” which took the industry by surprise when it earned $44.4 million to become the highest-grossing Spanish-language pic of all time in the U.S.
The company has since inked a first-look deal with Derbez, who is developing various projects with his partner, former Pantelion production head Ben Odell.