How to Be Latin Lover: Hispanic Viewers Make Marino and Derbez Movie a Hit

Pantelion’s How to be a Latin Lover slid into second over Tom Hanks and Emma Watson’s tech-thriller The Circle.

Led by Mexican star Eugenio Derbez, “Latin Lover” attracted $12 million from only 1,118 targeted locations. The opening weekend’s audience domestically was 89% Hispanic.

How to be a Latin Lover

In Latin Lover, Derbez plays a man named Maximo who made a career seducing older women. When his 80-year-old wife kicks him out for a younger man, Maximo goes to live with his sister (Salma Hayek) and attempts to remaster his art of seduction.

Rob Lowe and Kristen Bell also star in comedy actor Ken Marino’s directorial debut.

Derbez has won over the domestic box office in the past. In 2013, Instructions Not Included, which he directed and starred in, had a $7.8 million opening weekend from only 348 theaters.

Back then Derbez was a risk to Pantelion — a venture backed by Mexico-based Televisa and Lionsgate.

But the comic has turned out to be a bona fide name.  Derbez’s celebrity was key in promoting Latin Lover, including a prank video where he posed as an undercover Regal Cinemas employee that got almost a million views on Facebook.

Pantelion will bet on Derbez again in the remake of Overboard, which begins production in May.