‘Instructions Not Included’s’ Eugenio Derbez Signs First-Look Deal With Pantelion Films

The Mexican filmmaker starred in the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Mexican filmmaker Eugenio Derbez, who starred in Pantelion Films’ breakout hit “Instructions Not Included,” has signed an exclusive first-look deal with the company.

Pantelion Films is a collaboration between Lionsgate and Mexican media corporation Grupo Televisa. The company produced “Instructions Not Included,” which is the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Derbez and his newly-launched production company 3Pas Studios, will focus on Spanish and English-language films targeted at Latino and crossover audiences in the U.S.

Also read: ‘Instructions Not Included’: How Pantelion Sparked a Spanish-Language Breakout at the Box Office (Video)

“We are thrilled to take our longstanding relationship with Eugenio to the next level,” said Pantelion Films CEO Paul Presburger. “He is a true auteur in every sense of the word, and he has an amazing ability to tap into the shared passions of Latino and American audiences. Teaming up with such an enormous talent cements Pantelion’s status as a leader in producing world-class, quality entertainment for a booming and often underserved Latino community. We look forward to working with Eugenio and our friend and colleague Ben Odell who was instrumental in helping us launch Pantelion.”

“One of the keys to Pantelion’s continued successful evolution is the roster of cross-cultural A-list stars it is assembling,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer. “Nobody is better able to deliver films reflecting the universal themes that will continue to build Pantelion’s brand and audience than Eugenio Derbez, an incredible talent who has already generated tremendous momentum for the label with the success of Instructions Not Included.”

“Pantelion and Televisa can reach my core fan base better than anyone and, with the distribution expertise and brand recognition of Lionsgate, I know we can build on the crossover audience that we began to reach with ‘Instructions.’ I’m very happy to continue my relationship with all of them,” said Derbez.

Also read: ‘Instructions Not Included’ Stuns With Best Spanish-Language U.S. Box-Office Debut

“Eugenio wanted to name the company 3Pas or tripas, which means ‘guts’ in Spanish,” added Benjamin Odell, Pantelion’s former president of production who now works alongside Derbez. “That’s where he has made all his career decisions — from the gut — and it has brought him unparalleled success. No one has been able to crack the Hispanic market like Eugenio and, in partnership with Pantelion, I am certain we will continue to build on that success.”

In addition to writing, directing and starring in Pantelion’s 2013 release “Instructions Not Included,” Derbez’s feature credits include “Under the Same Moon,” another one of the highest-grossing Spanish language films released in the U.S.

Derbez and Odell first worked together on 2006’s “Sangre de Mi Sangre,” which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and for which Odell was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Odell also produced Pantelion’s 2012 release “Girl in Progress” starring Eva Mendes, Patricia Arquette and Derbez, and he is also producing Pantelion’s upcoming drama “Spare Parts,” which will star Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis and George Lopez. that film is scheduled for release on Jan. 16, 2015.

Derbez is represented by CAA and attorney Howard Abramson.