excerpt from “Hollywood Gets Instructions from Latino Audiences” (Variety)
But why has this film clicked with the large Hispanic audience base where many others have not? Much of it is due to director and star Eugenio Derbez, a Mexican TV telenovela and variety show star who also voices the donkey in “Shrek” in Mexico and starred in “Under the Same Moon,” which grossed a sizable $12.6 million domestically in 2008. “This is his movie,” says Pantelion CEO Paul Presburger. “He has a very loyal audience, and he’s devoted so much time to marketing this movie.” Pantelion spent less than $5 million marketing the film — a considerable sum for the specialty company, though hardly comparable to a studio’s marketing spend for a major release.
Latino audiences — the most enthusiastic moviegoing demo in the country, representing 22% of frequent moviegoers with only 16% of the U.S. population — turn out in outsized proportions for animated films and studio pics with Latino thesps like the “Fast and Furious” franchise. But many previous attempts to directly target the massive aud with Spanish-language films or using Latino talent have stumbled, perhaps because the modestly-budgeted efforts looked too much like art films and lacked family appeal.