Alfonso Cuaron's steamy drama Y Tu Mama Tambien has smashed Mexican box-office records for local films, ending its first week on release in Mexico with $2.19m from just 230 prints. This is the highest opening week figure ever earned by a Mexican film. The Mummy Returns, by contrast, made $1.86m from its 360 print release.
Released by 20th Century Fox on June 8, Y Tu Mama Tambien is Cuaron's first Spanish-language feature after a stint in Hollywood, where he directed Fox's Great Expectations (1998) and the critically acclaimed A Little Princess for Warner Bros (1995).
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's international hit Amores Perros held the previous record with $1.8m after one week. This is followed by Todo El Poder, which nabbed $1.7m; Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas which took $950,000; and recent release El Segundo Aire, which earned $720,000.
Although it started slowly, romantic comedy Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas went on to hold the record as the highest-grossing Mexican film in local history, posting up to $12.4m. Amores Perros, a Best Foreign Oscar nominee this year came close to that benchmark when it ended its run with nearly $10m. "We hope Y Tu Mama Tambien breaks the record set by Sexo," said Robert Girard, vice president, 20th Century Fox Latin America. Fox also released Sexo Pudor y Lagrimas.
According to Girard, Cuaron's latest opus was backed by a massive publicity thrust to complement a full advertising and grassroots campaign. Even its producer/financier Jorge Vergara, founder of nutritional supplements giant Grupo Omnilife, joined Cuaron and the cast, led by Spain's Maribel Verdu and male leads Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, in a hectic round of interviews on television, radio and in print. Most importantly, the film, described as "an irreverent and sexually charged drama", has delivered, garnering good reviews and word of mouth.
New York-based sales operation Good Machine International owns most international rights to the film. Cuaron and Vergara have retained distribution rights for North America, Latin America and Spain. They have licensed all Latin American rights to 20th Century Fox and all rights in Spain to Sogepaq. North American rights are still available and being handled by Cuaron's agent, Sergio Aguero, at Endeavor.