Mexico Box Office: Homegrown Productions Holding Their Own Against Hollywood Fare

Pantelion Films
"Instructions Not Included"

It took just two weeks for the breakout comedy "Instructions Not Included" to dethrone Mexico's previous box office champ.

MEXICO CITY -- It appears that Mexican cinema is finally gaining ground at home in a market where Hollywood releases usually dominate.

The Mexican Film Chamber (Canacine) this week released a year-end preliminary report, and the results are encouraging for local producers -- attendance figures and box office receipts for Mexican releases nearly tripled this year as they captured a double-digit market share.

What's more, several domestic films pulled off the rare feat of outperforming wide Hollywood releases. Among those was the bilingual comedy Instructions Not Included, which raked in more than $47 million and bested such tentpoles as Disney's Monsters University and Universal's Fast & Furious 6. Stateside, the Pantelion release did an impressive $44 million, making it the top-grossing Spanish-language film of all time in the U.S.

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Mexican theaters also got a huge boost from Gaz Alazraki's hit comedy Nosotros los Nobles (We Are the Nobles), which did nearly $28 million in receipts and eclipsed Fox toon The Croods and Paramount zombie flick World War Z.

The romantic comedy Pulling Strings is enjoying a strong run as well; after five weeks in theaters, it has taken in about $7.5 million. Comedies, no doubt, were the hot ticket this year.

Overall, the year's top earners in Mexico were Disney's Iron Man 3, Universal's Despicable Me 2 and Videocine's Instructions Not Included. For 2013 attendance, Instructions Not Included tops the chart with more than 15 million tickets sold.

Canacine estimates that Mexico will finish the year pulling in about $913 million at the box office, representing about 11 percent growth. Mexico is second only to Brazil among leading Latin American moviegoing markets.