Vindicating Lionsgate’s launch of the Globalgate consortium to take advantage of the popularity of local-language titles, “No Manches Frida,” which is lead-produced by Pantelion Films, a Lionsgate-Televisa joint venture, scored a first weekend Pesos 62 million (about $3.2 million) in Mexico, the third-highest opening for a Mexican movie of all time.
Produced by Pantelion, Alcon Entertainment, Mexico’s Neverending Media, owned by movie’s lead actress Martha Higareda, and Germany’s Constantin Film, “No Manches Frida” is a near beat-for-beat Mexican version of Constantin’s box office juggernaut, “Fack ju Gohte,”
Screened in Spanish with subtitles, “No Manches Frida” was released in the U.S. over Labor Day, earning through Sunday a first 17-day $9.15 million, and still counting. That figure already marks the second-best U.S. B.O. run this decade for a Spanish-language film, though still way down on both Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included’s” final trawl of $44.5 million in 2013.
Earning an estimated $71.8 million for Constantin, which produced and distributed in Germany, “Fack ju Gohte” could have been a candidate for an English-language remake. A Mexican Spanish-language one, however, offered a clutch of attractions: “From the actual point of view, it is more interesting because the Spanish-language market is huge, the production costs are lower and the P & A is lower,” said Martin Moszkowicz, at Constantin Film.
The Mexico bow was handled by Televisa-owned Videocine, allowing the giant Mexican TV network to leverage its muscular marketing muscle.Directed by Spain’s Nacho G. Velilla, “No Manches Frida” will now be rolled out by Televisa in a 12-country staggered release over Central and South America from Oct. 13 (Peru, Central America) through Oct. 27 in Colombia to Nov. 10 in Chile.
Constantin and top Italian production house Cattleya are now working on an Italian version of “Fack ju Gohte.” A French version is also under discussion, Moszkowicz added.
“Local product is now taking huge market shares,” he said. He went on: “It is easier to produce a local remake and the potential is higher in revenue terms than a German-language movie could ever have. This is a success story for everyone and it’s not stopping yet.”
“No Manches Frida” stars Mexican actor and comedian Omar Chaparro as an ex-con who can hardly spell but takes on a job as a teacher to recover the loot from a job which is buried at the school.