Latin America’s film industry had an interesting 12 months, with both hits and misses, W. Alejandro Sánchezz reports for Voxxi.com. No film company in the region can spend anywhere close to one of Hollywood’s summer blockbusters, but there were several new Latin American films this year with promising successes.
While Latin American films sporadically make a big splash in the U.S. market (The Motorcycle Diaries is a rare example), that does not mean that they cannot be highly profitable at home.
The departing year will end with some important milestones regarding Latin American films. Case in point is the Venezuelan mega-production about the South American hero Simon Bolivar. ‘The Liberator’ was very well received in Venezuela, it was also released in the U.S. and has made the short list for Best Foreign Language Film for the 2015 Oscars.
Meanwhile Cuba made headlines by producing ‘Meñique,’ its first animated 3D film. The movie was produced with help from a Spanish production company and did well for a kids-oriented film. (The Cuban songwriter Silvio Rodríguez wrote four original songs for the film).
As for Peruvian films, the most successful domestic production was ‘A Los 40,’ a comedy which revolves around a high school reunion. The second highest grossest film “hecho en Peru” was a suspense thriller entitled ‘Secreto Matusita.’
Additionally, the highlight of the Mexican film industry this year was ‘La Dictadura Perfecta,’ a controversial political satire of current President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration. The film opened on Friday, October 16, with a strong 1.7 million tickets sold on its debut. Nevertheless, there was one disappointment: ‘La Hija de Moctezuma,’ a comedy starring the renowned actress Maria Elena Velasco (aka La India Maria), which did not perform well upon its domestic release.
It is important to stress that Latin American countries are producing more films than ever before. For example, while it did not have any major domestic blockbusters, Colombia produced 28 films this year. According to the country’s Ministry of Culture, since 2010, Colombia has screened a total of 96 domestically-made films and 2014 set a record regarding how many movies were produced.
What do consumers want?
Certainly, apart from counting how many movies were made, it is important to know how many people went to see domestically-made movies.
Around 3.8 million tickets were sold for all Peruvian films screened this year, and ‘A Los 40,’ took the lion’s share with some 1.7 million viewers. In second place came ‘Secreto Matusita,’ with around 510 thousand. This would be a poor attendance record for a Hollywood production but they are fairly high for the Andean nation. In fact, ‘A Los 40’ is now the second highest grossing Peruvian film ever.
For the original report go to https://voxxi.com/2015/01/good-year-latin-americas-film-industry/