Spanish-language comedy rakes in $10M over weekend
“Instructions Not Included,” starring Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez, ranked fifth at the box office, taking in $10 million.
The Associated Press
MEXICO CITY — A movie featuring a Mexican actor whose shows have been a TV staple in Mexico for years has taken Hollywood by surprise.
“Instructions Not Included,” with Eugenio Derbez as actor, director and one of the writers, turned in the biggest Spanish-language opening ever over the Labor Day weekend in the U.S., according to studio estimates.
It took in $10 million and ranked fifth at the box office, competing with blockbusters such as “The Butler” and Disney animation “Planes” that were shown in 10 times more theaters.
The comedy tells the story of Valentin, a playboy in Acapulco who is paid a surprise visit by one of his conquests and her baby daughter, who is his. The mother runs away, forcing him into a parent role.
Valentin moves with his daughter to Los Angeles after learning the mother might live there. Even when they fail to find her, they stay in the U.S., where blonde, blue-eyed Maggie grows up speaking an accentless English in school and flawless Spanish at home. One day, the mother shows up to claim her.
“It’s comedy, drama. It’s about family. It’s about parenting children. And you are going to get the audience that can relate to that,” said Charles Ramirez Berg, media-studies professor at the University of Texas and author of “Latino Images in Film.”
Though the movie did not get the Hollywood-PR treatment and relied mostly on Derbez’s social-media influence for promotion, it packed theaters in California and Texas. It brought the 347 theaters where it opened $28,800 each in average ticket sales, according to Hollywood.com.