The Case for Compadres
First off, I want to acknowledge that predicting foreign movies performance in the US Box Office is pretty complicated even when using comps, so I perfectly understand anyone who doesn't agree with this post & prefers to play 7X Barbershop or another filler like Elvis (Not really, don't play Elvis, it's really overpriced, but that's another topic)
First off is the distributor: Pantelion Films is a venture created in 2010 between Lionsgate and Televisa (Mexican ABC/NBC) to distribute latino targeting films in the U.S market. Even though it's relatively new, it has plenty of experience, having already released more than 30 titles.
For this analysis Im going to focus on the big Mexican films distributed by Pantelion, this list excludes movies like Ladrones, Philly Brown & Spare Parts, that were mainly produced for the US Market, and had no real impact in the Mexican Box Office. I found 7 releases in the last couple of years that fit the pattern.
Movie - US Opening Weekend - Theatres
Instructions Not Included - 7.9m - 348
Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos - 3.5m - 395
Cantinflas - 2.7m - 382
Pulling Strings - 2.5m - 387
A La Mala - 1.4m - 384
Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer - 0.9m - 357
No Eres Tu, Soy Yo - 0.6m - 226
At first it seems like there is no relation, you have a bunch of movies released in a similar number of theatres, with very different results. This time I'll going to try something different, not including the US OW and theatre numbers and just using the movie's per theatre average. I'm going to compare that number to the film's OW in Mexico (in USD) and create a ratio between the two, Mexican OW / US PTA). What the ratio tells us is the number of theatres in which a movie would have needed to be released in the U.S to reach the same OW as in Mexico.
For Mexican OW numbers, I converted Pesos to USD at the current FX rate, 17.3 pesos per USD, because using different FX rates (like BOM) skews the results, since it makes older movies, converted at a lower FX rate seem more successful than the new ones, when that's not necessarily the case.
Movie - US PTA - Mexican OW (in USD) - Ratio (Mexican OW/US PTA)
Pulling Strings - 6,375 - 1.5m - 236x
Instructions Not Included - 22,547 - 8.6m - 382x
Cantinflas - 6,966 - 2.7 - 384x
Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos - 8,670 - 3.3m -384x
No Eres Tu, Soy Yo - 2,605- 1.1m - 415x
A La Mala - 3,651 - 1.7m - 478x
Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer - 2,527 - 1.3m - 495x
A trend starts to emerge, with 3 groups forming, let's analyze each one:
Group 1 - The "Mexican/American" Release - Pulling Strings
The most successful in the US relative to its Mexican Box Office, the main difference between this film and the others is that it definitely targeted US audiences as well as Mexican. The movie has an English trailer, plenty of English is spoken, it has American actors, a different title for each market (Pulling Strings / Amor a Primera Visa) and the movie is a love story about a Mexican who got his visa rejected and the American embassy worker that rejected his visa.
Group 2 - Plenty of Awareness - Instructions not Included, Cantinflas & Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos
This group consists of three of the most successful Mexican movies of all time, you have a dramedy with great reviews and WOM, a story about the most famous Mexican actor of all time and a very successful animated sequel. The thing in common between this three is that there was plenty of awareness when they came out.
Group 3 - RomComs mainly targeting Mexican Audiences - No Eres Tu, Soy Yo, A la Mala & Busco Novio para mi Mujer
The title explains itself, this were titles that were mainly targeted at Mexican audiences in which the US BO was a bit "disappointing" in comparison. They are the opposite of Pulling Strings, in that they didn't do anything at all to appeal to US audiences, no English trailer, entire movies in Spanish with no American actors. That's the major point I didn't consider when Busco was released.
So if you read the Compadres IMDB page, by now you should know where this is headed. Let's see:
Known American actors ( Even if they aren't nowhere near stars) - Check
US trailer in English (Some of it is in Spanish, but there's subtitles) - Check
Storyline involving an American - Check
The lead actor in Compadres is Omar Chaparro, a radio host in Mexico's most popular morning show with a huge following. He previously has credits in two of the movies mentioned before: as a voice actor in Gallo and as the side-kick in Pulling Strings, probably not a big coincidence.
Compadres was released a couple of weeks ago in Mexico, it's OW gross in USD was $2m, higher than all the movies in the list, except the high awareness group. According to the ratios seen before that would give it a per theatre range between 4,010 and 8,410, which at 350 theatres (that'll probably climb to 385 by Friday) means a gross between 1.4m and 2.9m. The low range would make it a runaway bonus winner, and I think it'll end even higher. While I don't think its ratio is going to be to be as low as Pulling Strings, it probably can reach the Second group's level, which at 382X, would mean an OW around 1.8m.Apr 19, 2016, 9:10am PDTEdited
Sounds to me like Pulling Strings the obvious comp here. Couple that with the Facebook data, yikes. Assuming all this is sound logic, this one should show up in PBO's top 12 & be pegged as a runaway BP winner. Then it becomes a question on anchors potentially.
Great job here CC!Apr 19, 2016, 9:26am PDTEdited
Great analysis. I'm still skeptical after my Latrones bomb, I'm still on Barbershop. If it's a runaway like Doris I might have to play itApr 19, 2016, 9:40am PDT
@Phil Thanks! Yes Pulling Strings is the best comp, but I don't think it will do as well since Pulling Strings touches a very sensible topic for mexicans/latins in the US, which is how difficult it is to cross the border legally, while Compadres is an action movie, but it should still do pretty well.
Another mexican/american movie that touched the same topic, had an even more impressive performance than Pulling Strings.
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=underthesamemoon.htmApr 19, 2016, 10:13am PDT
@ CCR So you're saying that they break into three groups: El Bueno, El Malo, y El Gringo?
Seems like a good sign.
JokerApr 19, 2016, 10:28am PDT
Anybody know if there will be Thursday numbers for this?Apr 19, 2016, 10:48am PDT
Don't think it will and if it does the number will be low enough that it won't be reported probably.Apr 19, 2016, 10:53am PDT
I don't recall Thursday numbers for prior Lionsgate/Pantelion releases, so I doubt we will see anything for Compadres. I'm waiting for my local chain to update their showings for the coming weekend to see if it is playing Thursday night or not.Apr 19, 2016, 10:55am PDT
The "Want to See" on RT is 87%. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the general rule that anything under 90% is a bad sign? As for the reviews, so far there are five fresh and six rotten, putting it at 45%.
Let's look at Facebook. There's a Compadres post from 16 hours ago. It has four likes. The post from Sunday has 17 likes. The one from Friday does have 130 likes, but the one from the day before has 22. Some of these likes are coming from the same people, BTW. The Keanu page may not have as many likes, but the posts are getting more interactions, including shares.Apr 19, 2016, 11:25am PDTEdited
@CCR - whats my upside? With limited information at this point, I'm sitting on $83.5 mil for a 7x BS3 / BvS line -up. I'm having a hard time seeing a JB / Cpadre line - up giving me more than another $10 mil BP/PC bonuses included? Is it worth the risk for that $10mil?
I guess that's what we'll all be trying to figure out.......Apr 19, 2016, 11:37am PDT