As Cinema Tropical continues with its annual review of 2012, we now publish the list of the top grossing Latin American films of the year in their local territory. Again, in the year that just came to and end, comedies were the favorite of most Latin American people, except in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay, where a political thriller and a couple of animated films reigned at their local box office.
The most successful film in Argentina was the romantic comedy Dos más dos by Diego Kaplan about a couple that attempts to bring back the spark on their relationship while exploring the swinger community. The film, starring Adrián Suar, Julieta Díaz, Carla Peterson and Juan Minujín, premiered in the country in August grossing an impressive equivalent of almost $6 million dollars.
The Brazilian screwball comedy Até que a sorte nos separe (roughly translated as “Until luck do us part") by Roberto Santucci was the most popular film locally. The film tells the story of Tino (played by Leandro Hassum), a family man who drastically transforms his life after winning the lottery. Yet, in less than a decade, he spends all the money on a life of ostentation beside his wife, Jane. When she becomes pregnant with her third child, Tino does everything to hide from Jane that they’re bankrupt. The film was seen by over 3.3 million people in Brazil.
In Chile, the comedy Stefan v/s Kramer became the most popular film in the history of the country, having been watched by over 2 million people in its groundbreaking theatrical run surpassing American blockbusters such as Ice Age 4, Avatar, Titanic and Toy Story 3. The film co-directed by actor/comedian Stefan Kramer with Sebastián Freund and starring Kramer himself, tells the fictionalized story of Kramer, a renowned Chilean impersonator who, having achieved success, needs to reclaim his family life with his wife (played by Paloma Soto, Kramer's wife in real life) and children while he's combating the anger of the public figures that he has impersonated.
Mi gente linda mi gente bella, the screwball comedy directed by Harold Trompetero and produced by Dago García, was the most successful Colombian film at the local box office in 2012. The film follows Vigo, a Swedish man who moves to Colombia where he’ll discover the true sense of what means to be Colombian. The Trompetero/García duet repeated as the most successful filmmakers in the South American country, as last year their film El paseo was the king at the local box office, and they just released its sequel El paseo 2 starring John Leguizamo on Christmas day, which promises to be the top grossing film of 2013 as over 100,000 people watched it on its opening week.
In Mexico the political thriller Colosio by Carlos Bolado starring José María Yazpik, Daniel Giménez Cacho and Kate del Castillo, was the local top grossing film earning over $4 million dollars at the box office. The film is a fictionalized version of the police investigation of the assassination of the Mexican presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio who was killed in Tijuana in 1994 few months before the election. The film’s thesis supports the idea that the assassination was a state crime and it was released in June, just a month before the local elections where the candidate of the PRI party won the presidency of the country.
In Peru, eight local productions were theatrically released, and the animated feature film Los ilusionautas / The Illusionauts by Eduardo Schultz reigned at the box office, with over 210,000 spectators and grossing $740,000 dollars. The film was the first-ever Peruvian 3D animated film and it had an English version that was released internationally including in countries like Kuwait and Russia under the title Двинув времени. The film follows a group of kids with special powers and their trusted dog who are sent back in time restore the artist Leonardo Da Vinci’s place in history that the mad President and Minister of Cultural Affairs are trying to erase.
16 Uruguayan feature films were released in the country, a local record for the South American country of 3 million plus people. Leading the box office was the first-ever animated Uruguayan film Selkirk: el verdadero Robinson Crusoe / Selkirk: The Real Robinson Crusoe by Walter Tournier. The stop motion film portrays the misadventures of Alexander Selkirk who’s selfish nature gets him marooned on a deserted island where he must abandon his desire for revenge or else parish to the elements. The film was also released internationally both in South America and Europe.
During 2012, a total of 18 Venezuelan feature films were released in the country, being Er Conde Bond, written, directed, produced and starring comedian Benjamín Rausseo aka "Er Conde del Guácharo", the king at the local box office. The sequel to Er Conde Jones (the highest grossing Venezuelan film of 2011), the film is a spoof of the James Bond franchise, where the Britannica Intelligence Service has lost its best secret agent Er Conde Bond 007, and only his twin brother Chuíto (Er Conde Bond 007 y pico) will be able to replace him in the most difficult mission ever fighting the villain Chichón Li. The film was seen by around 350,000 people and grossed almost $3 million dollars at the box office.