MEXICO CITY – Mexican cinema is enjoying an unprecedented year at the box office after the enormously successful release of the comedy Instructions Not Included.
The feature film debut of actor-turned-director Eugenio Derbez raked in about $11.6 million this past weekend, making it the biggest opening weekend ever in Mexico for a Mexican production.
Televisa-owned distributor Videocine bowed Instructions Not Included on 1,500 prints, a monster release by Mexican standards (most producers here would be happy to have a release on 300 copies).
Directed by and starring Derbez, a popular Televisa network personality, Instructions Not Included was first released in the U.S. by the Lionsgate-Televisa joint venture Pantelion. After four weeks stateside, it has done a whopping $31 million in receipts and is the second biggest box office performer for a Spanish-language film in the U.S.
If Instructions Not Included continues its strong run in Mexico, it will dethrone Mexico’s current box office champ, Nosotros los Nobles (We Are the Nobles). Also a directorial debut, Gary Alazraki‘s comedy We Are the Nobles shattered Mexico’s box office record this summer, pulling in $27 million on a 17-week run. It nearly doubled the earnings of the previous record holder, The Crime of Father Amaro, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
Overall, it has been a banner year for Mexican cinema, with two of its most popular commercial releases ever and a best director award at Cannes for Amat Escalante‘s drug war drama Heli.