Mexican actor, director, writer and producer Eugenio Derbez, the star of Pantelion Filmsâ€™ breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S., has signed an exclusive first-look deal with Pantelion Films, the collaboration between next generation global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and Mexican media corporation Grupo Televisa, the parties announced today. Derbez, through his newly-launched 3Pas (â€˜tripasâ€) Studios production company, a partnership with former Pantelion President of Production Benjamin Odell, will focus on Spanish and English-language films targeted at Latino and crossover audiences in the US.
â€œWe are thrilled to take our longstanding relationship with Eugenio to the next level,â€ said Pantelion Films CEO Paul Presburger. â€œHe is a true auteur in every sense of the word, and he has an amazing ability to tap into the shared passions of Latino and American audiences. Teaming up with such an enormous talent cements Pantelionâ€™s status as a leader in producing world-class, quality entertainment for a booming and often underserved Latino community. We look forward to working with Eugenio and our friend and colleague Ben Odell who was instrumental in helping us launch Pantelion.â€
â€œOne of the keys to Pantelionâ€™s continued successful evolution is the roster of cross-cultural A-list stars it is assembling,â€ said Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer. â€œNobody is better able to deliver films reflecting the universal themes that will continue to build Pantelionâ€˜s brand and audience than Eugenio Derbez, an incredible talent who has already generated tremendous momentum for the label with the success of Instructions Not Included.â€
Derbez added, â€œPantelion and Televisa can reach my core fan base better than anyone and, with the distribution expertise and brand recognition of Lionsgate, I know we can build on the crossover audience that we began to reach with Instructions. Iâ€™m very happy to continue my relationship with all of them.â€
â€œEugenio wanted to name the company 3Pas or tripas, which means â€˜gutsâ€™ in Spanish,â€ continued Odell. â€œThatâ€™s where he has made all his career decisions — from the gut — and it has brought him unparalleled success. No one has been able to crack the Hispanic market like Eugenio and, in partnership with Pantelion, I am certain we will continue to build on that success.â€
In addition to writing, directing and starring in Pantelionâ€™s 2013 release Instructions Not Included, Derbezâ€™s film credits include Under the Same Moon, another one of the highest-grossing Spanish language films released in the U.S.
Derbez and Odell first worked together on Sangre de Mi Sangre in 2006, starring Derbez, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and for which Odell was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award. Odell also produced Pantelionâ€™s 2012 release Girl in Progress, starring Eva Mendes, Patricia Arquette and Derbez, and he is producing Pantelionâ€™s upcoming drama Spare Parts, starring Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis and George Lopez, scheduled for release on January 16, 2015.
Pantelion Films is the first major Latino Hollywood studio and the new face of Hispanic entertainment. Launched in 2010, Pantelion releases include the breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the recent box office success Cantinflas, which achieved the highest per screen average of any film in nationwide release on its opening weekend, as well as such films as Pulling Strings, Casa de mi Padre and From Prada to Nada.