You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Disney, Paramount, Sony Ink Deals With Spanish-Language Movie Dub App MyLingo

Spanish-speaking moviegoers will have more options for listening to films en Español in cinemas, under multiyear pacts that app startup MyLingo has reached with Disney, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Current and upcoming releases covered under the pacts include Disney’s “Moana” and “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Paramount’s “Office Christmas Party” and Sony-Village Roadshow’s “Passengers.” Using MyLingo, moviegoers can download studio-recorded Spanish audio tracks for $1.99 that sync to the English-language film on screen — and listen in real-time using their own headphones. Currently, MyLingo is available only for Apple’s iOS devices.

In addition to the studio deals, MyLingo has secured partnerships with Regal Entertainment Group and Cinemark Theaters, two of the top three largest exhibitors in the U.S., under which the chains will promote the app. MyLingo shares a portion of its revenue with the studios and and exhibitors.

“Partnering with MyLingo allows us to further invest in our audiences by offering this unique amenity to Spanish-speaking guests,” Greg Dunn, president and COO of Regal Entertainment Group, said in a statement.

According to Nielsen, Hispanic moviegoers spent $2.3 billion at the U.S. box office in 2015. But MyLingo CEO Olenka Polak said the company’s research shows that nearly half of all Spanish-speaking Americans avoid going to the movies because films aren’t shown in Spanish. “We see exhibitors as an unbelievable force to get the word out,” she said.

MyLingo began testing the app this summer with films including “Finding Dory” and “Ghostbusters,” followed by “Doctor Strange” and “Inferno.” Polak said the company has seen heavier usage in border towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, as well as in other areas with large Hispanic populations including L.A., New York and Florida.

Santa Monica-based MyLingo has 12 employees. The company has raised $4.1 million to date from Dolby Laboratories and individual investors. MyLingo’s board of directors includes Joe Peixoto, former president of worldwide cinema at RealD, and Chris Cookson, ex-CTO of Warner Bros. and former president of Sony Pictures Technologies.

Down the road, Polak said MyLingo would like to offer all the studio dubs for their movies, in multiple languages. But for now, she said, the company is focusing on Spanish because “we want a clear marketing message.” MyLingo plans to increase marketing spending in December, increasing “in a meaningful way” in January 2017, Polak added.

The MyLingo app uses an iPhone’s microphone to “listen” to a film’s audio soundtrack once the movie has begun, identifying the movie through a proprietary algorithm (similar to how Shazam works). The audio tracks are studio-sanctioned Spanish versions of the film originally developed for international release. Once the movie is over, the app deletes the file from the user’s phone.

MyLingo was founded in 2012 by Olenka Polak and her brother, Adam Polak, who grew up in Greenwich, Conn., in a predominantly Polish-speaking household. The siblings’ frustration in being forced to see movies in English led to the formation of the technology behind the company.

More Film

  • Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang Dies at

    Singapore Actor Aloysius Pang Killed on Military Service, At 28

    Singapore actor, Aloysius Pang died Wednesday of injuries sustained while on military training in New Zealand. He was 28. Pang was best known for his appearance in movies “Young & Fabulous,” and “Timeless Love.” He also had a string of credits in Singapore TV series. Pang was involved in accident last week, while repairing a [...]

  • Alibaba Expands Film Investment, Loans $100

    Alibaba Expands Film Investment Plan, Loans $100 Million to Huayi Bros.

    Alibaba Pictures Group, the film business arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has struck a strategic co-operation deal with leading film studio Huayi Brothers. The deal terms include a $103 million (RMB700 million) loan to Huayi. Alibaba Pictures said the agreement was part of its recently announced strategy to be a part of major movies [...]

  • Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear

    Netflix Buys Taiwan Black Comedy 'Dear Ex'

    Netflix has added to its roster of Mandarin-language content with the acquisition of rights to Taiwanese dark comedy “Dear Ex.” The award-winning film will play out from Feb. 1. The story involves a recently bereaved widow and a gay man fighting over a dead man’s inheritance, with the woman’s teenage son caught in the middle. [...]

  • Audrey Wells

    Film News Roundup: Audrey Wells Scholarships Launched by UCLA, China's Pearl Studio

    In today’s film news roundup, Pearl Studio and UCLA start a “Say Yes!” scholarship in memory of Audrey Well; Gina Lollobrigida and Claudia Cardinale are honored; and the “General Magic” documentary gets bought. SCHOLARSHIPS UNVEILED China’s Pearl Studio has made a gift of $100,000 for endowed scholarships to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and [...]

  • Honey Boy Knock Down the House

    Sundance Hot Titles List: 13 Buzzy Films That Have Buyers Talking

    There’s a good reason that much of Hollywood braves the thin mountain air each year to make the trek to the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s not to check out the nearby ski slopes. The annual launch of the indie film gathering brings with it the possibility of discovering the next big thing in moviemaking. [...]

  • (L to R) VIGGO MORTENSEN and

    Will Oscar Nominations Give This Year's Contenders a Box Office Boost?

    With nominees like “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “A Star Is Born,” the 2018 class of movies proved the Oscars don’t need a popular films category to recognize movies that also made bank in theaters. But now that the academy has selected this year’s crop of awards hopefuls, is there any green left to squeeze [...]

  • A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's

    Sundance: A24 Buys Sequel to Tilda Swinton's Romance-Drama 'The Souvenir'

    A24 has bought the North American rights to Tilda Swinton’s romance-drama “The Souvenir – Part 2,” closing the deal on the eve of the Sundance Film Festival. “The Souvenir” is set to make its world premiere at Sundance on Jan. 27, followed by playing in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in February. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content