Mexico’s film industry continues refining its formula for box office success with Pantelion Films’ latest glossy commercial feature, No Manches Frida. After setting a new standard for Spanish-language ticket sales with 2013’s Instructions Not Included, Pantelion apparently picked up some new Hollywood tricks for No Manches Frida, which is an more or less exact copy of the successful 2013 German comedy Fack ju Gohte (just sound it out.)
Like its Teutonic inspiration, No Manches Frida follows a bank robber fresh out of prison who learns his money is buried beneath a recently constructed school building. In an effort to get it back, he takes a job as a substitute teacher, but he’s entirely unprepared for the challenges of his unruly classroom.
Directed by Spanish helmer Nacho García Velilla, No Manches Frida follows a straightforward commercial formula will little to differentiate it from your standard Hollywood comedy – except, maybe, for the original soundtrack by over-the-hill Mexican boy band Reik. It seems the formula hit the box office sweet spot down south, giving No Manches Frida the third-highest opening weekend for a national film in Mexico, and the second highest US opening for a Spanish-language film in a decade.
So far, that’s a grand total of over $9 million from US audiences, and nearly $4 million more from Mexico, meaning we may be seeing a whole lot more German films adapted for Spanish-language audiences in the years to come.