"Cantinflas" 2014
Óscar Jaenada interpreting Mario Moreno as Cantinflas. Lionsgate / Pantelión Films

Labor Day is normally the perfect time to debut a big blockbuster film, especially with summer winding down and people looking to relax on the holiday weekend. However, Pantelion Films is changing up this formula with its release of “Cantinflas” and for the second year in a row, the Latino-aimed studio found success. “Cantinflas” which chronicles the legendary story of Mario Moreno, the iconic Mexican comic film actor who was known professionally as “Cantinflas.”

He served as a pioneer of cinema in Mexico with his numerous films and his notable roles as impoverished “campesinos” served to usher in the country’s golden age of film. Deadline revealed that the film opened this holiday weekend in 382 theaters, grossing $2,660,000, with an average of $6.963 per theater. With the opening weekend successful, “Cantinflas” will need more reviews like the LA Times if it’s has any hope of catching up to its Pantelion Films predecessor “Instructions Not Included.”

“Instructions Not Included” was released on Labor Day Weekend in 2013, and became the fifth highest-grossing film of the holiday weekend after opening in 347 theaters, grossing $10 million and an impressive $28,818 per theater average. The film not only “shattered box office records” but became the “highest-grossing Spanish-language film to open in North American,” according to Box Office Mojo after grossing $39,259,274 in North America as of October 2. Therefore “Cantinflas” has a lot of catching up to do.

Pantelion plans to increase moviegoers’ attendance by partnering with Spanish-language media outlets such as Televisa and Univision. “We are doing grass-roots marketing, partnering with supermarkets that cater to Latin American clientele,” said Pantelion’s Edward Allen. “In L.A. we’re doing an outdoor campaign, but also saturating Spanish-language media across all channels.” Allen said “Cantinflas” release pattern “will mirror the Latino population across the country and we will expand based on performance and adjust the plan accordingly.”

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