News Column

'Instructions Not Included' triumphs in U.S.

September 8, 2013


The English-speaking audience needs subtitles to understand the film and will probably turn to Google to find out where they've seen the actor, if they have seen him at all.

However, a film starring Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez, whose shows have been part of Mexican television for years, has taken Hollywood by storm.

The movie "Instructions Not Included," in which Derbez is an actor, director and one of the writers, became the most successful release in Spanish in the United States over the weekend that included the Labor Day holiday, according to statistics released by the studios.

The film grossed $10 million and ranked fifth at the box office, competing with such hits as "The Butler" and Disney's animated film "Planes" which were screened at 10 times as many theaters.

"Hispanics represent a growing part of the population. In a way, you can count on them as a central audience," said Charles Ramirez Berg, professor of media studies at the University of Texas and author of "Latino Images in Film."

The comedy is about a womanizer, Valentin, living in the tourist port of Acapulco. One day he gets a surprise visit from one of his catches and her daughter, who is also his. The mother flees and the single bachelor is forced to assume the role of father.

Valentin travels with his daughter to Los Angeles after learning that the mother could be a resident of that city. Although they don't find her, father and daughter remain in the United States, where Maggie, blond and blue-eyed, grows speaking unaccented English at school and impeccable Spanish at home. One day, the mother reappears.

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