Pantelion Prepping ‘No Manches Frida’ Sequel (EXCLUSIVE)

Anna Marie de la Fuente
Variety

Lionsgate-Televisa joint venture Pantelion is prepping a sequel to its second highest grossing Spanish-language release in the U.S., “No Manches Frida,” which has grossed up to $11 million Stateside. Lead-produced by Pantelion, along with Alcon Entertainment, “Frida” lead Martha Higareda’s NeverEnding Media, and Germany’s Constantin Film, “No Manches Frida” is a Mexican version of Constantin’s 2013 box office hit “Fack ju Gohte,” which follows the travails of an ex-con, played by comic Omar Chaparro, who takes a job at a rowdy high school to gain access to his buried loot.

“There was some resistance to the idea of a Spanish director for a Mexican remake of a German film,” said Pantelion COO Edward Allen, “but Velilla hit the right comedic tone that has worked on both sides of the border.” To date, “No Manches Frida,” which bowed Sept. 16 in Mexico, is the fourth highest-grossing Mexican pic of all time. Comedy soon rolls out across the rest of Latin America via Pedro Rodriguez’s IDC Films.

The “No Manches Frida” sequel will be loosely-based on the 2015 sequel “Fack ju Gohte 2,” which has the bored inmate-turned-teacher taking his class to Thailand on a field trip. “No Manches Frida” helmer Nacho G. Velilla, who hails from Spain, is penning the adaptation.

In 2013, Pantelion hit the box office jackpot with its release of Eugenio Derbez dramedy “Instructions Not Included,” an Alebrije and Fulano, Mengano & Asociados co-production, which grossed a record breaking $44.4 million in the US., ranking fourth among the top 25 all-time foreign language hits in the U.S. since 1980. “No Manches Frida” is currently 24th on the list.

Much like the Indian diaspora who have a healthy appetite for Bollywood films, the Latin American audience responds well to the right kind of movies, said Allen. “When it works and is actually funny, they will come out with their family and friends to see it,” he added..

Pantelion will be releasing “Tres Idiotas,” the Mexican remake of Indian box office juggernaut  “3 Idiots,” by Rajkumar Hirani early next year. Higareda stars and co-produces the comedy through her NeverEnding Media shingle with Carlos Bolado at the helm. Meanwhile, expectations are high for Eugenio Derbez English-language comedy, “How to Be a Latin Lover,” the directorial debut of comedian-scribe Ken Marino who has brought a stable of his friends in the comedy circuit to star alongside Derbez, Salma Hayek, Kristen Bell, Raquel Welch, Rob Lowe and Michael Cera. Now in post, its release is either slated for late April or on Labor Day weekend.

Other releases:

·           *  “La Leyenda del Chupacabras,” the fourth installment of the Leyenda animated franchise, from Anima Estudios.  Dir. Alberto Rodriguez.  Release: Oct 14.

·           *  “Un Padre no tan Padre” A father-son comedy. Dir. Raul Martinez. Late January.

·           * “Everybody Loves Somebody” A bi-lingual, bi-cultural romcom by Catalina Aguilar Mastretta (“The Hours With You”), produced by Draco Films. Late February.

Most of the titles produced or acquired by Pantelion will feed the upcoming Spanish-language premium movie streaming (SVOD) service that partners Lionsgate and Univision Communications jointly unveiled in September. Aiming for a launch by the second quarter of 2017, the new SVOD service will include titles from Lionsgate’s 16,000-title library and other catalogs dubbed into Spanish.

Noting Pantelion’s access to the most in-demand Spanish movies such as “No Instructions Included,” “No Manches Frida” and animated hit “Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos,” Allen said: “the OTT market is getting crowded but it’s ultimately about content, so we have an advantage.”

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