EXCLUSIVE: As the sequel to their 2012 Steve Harvey book adaptation Think Like A Man hits theaters today, the writing team of Keith Merryman and David A. Newman have been hired to adapt another hit property. They’ll script Lionsgate’s remake of the Spanish-language comedy Instructions Not Included, about a playboy whose life is rocked when an old fling leaves a baby on his doorstep. The original film starred Mexican superstar Eugenio Derbez and became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film to ever be released in the U.S. when it opened via Lionsgate’s Pantelion last year.
Merryman and Newman co-wrote 2011 rom-com Friends With Benefits prior to adapting the first Think Like A Man picture, which took in a $96M box office for Screen Gems. The pair were then tapped to write sequel Think Like A Man Too, which opens today and has already scored $1.8M in late night Thursday showings. The Instructions Not Included remake will be overseen by John Sacchi and Mike Paseornek for Lionsgate. The studio also recently tapped Merryman and Newman to rewrite Summit’s romantic comedy Kicked, Bitten and Scratched based on Amy Sutherland’s books set at an animal facility. The writers are repped by APA, Circle of Confusion and SMGSB.
Pantelion Films’ Instructions Not Included today becomes the highest grossing Spanish Language film ever released in the U.S., according to distributor Lionsgate. With this weekend’s estimate of $3.38 million, the breakout family comedy/drama has a cume of $38.567M in its 5th weekend at the American box office. Starring and directed by Eugenio Derbez, the pic has passed Pan’s Labyrinth‘s $37.6M as the new record holder. It’s also the 4th biggest grossing foreign language film ever in the U.S., behind only Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Taiwan), Life is Beautiful (Italy), and Hero (China). Meanwhile, Instructions Not Included has yet to be released in Canada. Word of mouth spread due to its ‘A+’ CinemaScore, and Instructions Not Included expanded its U.S. run to target crossover audiences. Made for a $5M budget and acquired by Pantelion, it was the big story coming out of Labor Day Weekend for the best-ever domestic debut for a Spanish language film. Pantelion Films is a joint venture between Lionsgate and Mexico’s media powerhouse Televisa with plans for 8-to-10 films per year.
Brian Brooks is a Deadline contributor.
UPDATE, 11:50 AM: Lionsgate/Pantelion’s Instructions Not Included scored a Spanish-language first, shattering the Specialty Box Office with a $10 million gross in 347 theaters. The comedy-drama directed by Eugenio Derbez handily won the holiday weekend’s numbers among limited releases, including a spectacular $28,818 average. It placed fifth in the overall box office chart.
Film Arcade‘s Afternoon Delight also proved to have newcomer seduction, grossing just over $37K over the holiday weekend with a four-day PSA of $18,504. Noted Film Arcade this weekend: “We’re thrilled with the opening of Afternoon Delight and are particularly excited about the fantastic reception the film is getting from women. Jill Soloway directed a provocative film and following this strong start we’ll be aggressively expanding the release throughout the country.” Read More »