Local Documentary 'Barely Passing' Trounces Oscar Pics at Mexican Box Office

The returns for "De Panzazo" beat "The Artist" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" over the weekend in Mexico.

MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican film De Panzazo raked in $870,000 on its opening weekend and pulled off an impressive feat for a locally-produced documentary: it outperformed several Oscar contenders. 

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Directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo (Those Who Remain) and narrated by Televisa news anchor Carlos Loret de Mola, the Michael Moore-style De Panzazo (literally translated as "barely passing") denounces Mexico's education system and its flawed teachers union. 

Opening on 200-plus screens Friday, the film went on over the weekend to beat out Academy Award winner The Artist and best picture nominee Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Additionally, De Panzazo topped Mexico's charts in per theater average.

Distributor/exhibitor Cinepolis released De Panzazo. Cinepolis' previously release, Presunto Culpable (Presumed Guilty), was Mexico's highest grossing documentary of all time, doing about $6 million in sales. The documentary genre gets little commercial play in Mexico, making it truly rare for a box office hit to come along.

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