Mexican Cinema struggles to attract viewers in 2017

Despite more Mexican films were made this year, domestic box office recorded a decrease in viewership
“Do it like a man”, a Mexican comedy starring Mauricio Ochmann and Aisslin Derbéz - Photo: COURTESY
Mexico City
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For the second year in a row, the number of films produced in Mexico broke the record of the so-called Golden Age of Mexican cinema, yet it fell short on premieres and audience interest, according to data from the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE) and the National Chamber of the Film Industry (CANACINE).

According to IMCINE, between documentaries and fiction, a total of 175 feature films were made, 13 more than in 2016 and 40 more than 1958.

However, only 85 premiered – six less than last year – and the domestic box office only recorded a sale of MXN$25,000,000 (USD$1,267,197).

“We need a more prominent spot. Distribution and exhibition are still a pending issue,” said Jorge Sánchez, director of IMCINE.

The highest-grossing Mexican film was “Hazlo como hombre” (“Do It Like a Man”), starring Mauricio Ochmann, Aislinn Derbéz, and Alfonso Dosal, selling a total of 4.3 million tickets.

Mónica Lozano, film producer behind films such as “Instructions not Included” (2013) and “Tear This Heart Out” (2008) (“Arráncame la vida”) said there have been years were a single film grosses 95% of the domestic box office but in 2017 there was a more balanced distribution of this percentage, despite the decrease in viewership.

According to CANACINE, since 2013 Mexican cinema has taken in over one billion of Mexican pesos per year, yet Tábata Vilar Villa, director of the Chamber, highlighted this isn't enough. In the end, Mexican cinema represents close to 10% of the total box office in Mexico.

On average, a domestic production takes two years to premiere on the big screen after its shooting.

The top ten – excluding foreign films – was dominated by six comedies, which gathered 60% of the domestic box office for Mexican films.

Yet, viewership on other platforms, such as television, digital platforms, and film events registered a total of 68 million viewers.

“We have to take into account the growing audience in other platforms,” Sánchez said.


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