September 3, 2013, - 3:32 pm

Got Amnesty?: Spanish Language Film Hits Top 5 Movies For Wknd; Tops Big Budget “Getaway”

By Debbie Schlussel

Over the weekend, there was a bad omen for those of us concerned about immigration amnesty, and it comes from movie theaters across America. A little noticed barometer of pop culture should be big news about where America is headed–that America’s Hispanic population is not only growing, but dominating the landscape.


This weekend, a Spanish-language comedy movie, “Instructions Not Included [No se Aceptan Devoluciones],” surprised Hollywood by debuting in the top five movies, beating out the much-hyped, big-budget “Getaway.” (The Wall Street Journal puts the movie in fifth place for the extended holiday weekend, but Box Office Mojo puts it in fourth place. See the graphic below.) Moreover, the movie is tops in box office take, making $22,594 per screen versus $5,777 for the number one movie, “One Direction: This Is Us.”

Click on Image to See the Whole Thing . . .


The movie’s success signals the growing influence of Hispanic America over, well . . . everything. And it’s not a good omen for the way we are headed on the immigration amnesty issue, whether or not you believe the conventional wisdom that most Hispanic U.S. citizens support amnesty (I do not and never have, La Raza et al notwithstanding).

Foreign language films are almost never in the top five. And the movie’s success in edging out “Getaway” is even more stark, when you consider that the Spanish movie was shown on only 347 screens versus 2,130 screens for “Getaway.” And compare “Instructions'” $22,594 per screen take versus “Getaway’s” $2,108 per screen. Even the over-hyped, fictional disgrace, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” which added 220 screens this week for a total of 3,300 screens, only averaged $4,469 per screen or about a fifth of what the Spanish comedy took in. Yes, “Getaway” is a crappy movie (read my review). But that’s not the point, since a summary of the plot of “Instructions” (as found on IMDB) sounds like it could have been made by the Hispanic Tyler Perry:

A man who has made a new life for himself and the daughter left on his doorstep 6 years ago finds his family threatened when the birth mother resurfaces.

“Instructions” took in $10 million and is a harbinger of what’s to come. Hollywood has noticed, and several weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal ran a cover story on Hollywood’s use of Hispanic characters and themes, such as in “Fast & Furious 6” to win Hispanic movie dollars and, thus, the box office race.

But it’s not just Hollywood noticing and catering to the perceived desires of Hispanics. It’s other sectors of pop culture, presenting us with the “virtues” of illegal aliens (see my coverage of illegal alien chick lit a/k/a “Fifty Shades of Amnesty”) and politicians who keep pimping us on immigration amnesty and may succeed in passing the amnesty bill this fall.

I’m not anti-Hispanic. I’m pro-American-culture (and preserving it), pro-English-language (and using it), anti-amnesty, and anti- the notion that all American Hispanics want amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens in our midst. I’ve heard from many Hispanics who do not want that.

Sadly, the perception that they do want it and the many signs that they will dominate America demographically in a few generations are leading Washington–Democrats AND Republicans–down the amnesty path to America’s suicide.

And, then, most of the movies dominating the box office will be in Spanish. Got Amnesty?


“The Getaway,” a Warner Bros. thriller starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez, couldn’t get out of first gear and stalled, opening to just $5.5 million.

In a surprise, it was beat by “Instructions Not Included,” a $5 million Spanish-language comedy that played at 347 theaters nationwide, compared with 2,130 for “The Getaway.” The Mexican production features Eugenio Derbez, one of that country’s biggest stars, and benefited from the frequent moviegoing habits of American Hispanics.

With $10 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend, “Instructions” immediately became the highest-grossing release for Pantelion Films, a three year-old joint venture of Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Mexico’s Grupo Televisa that focuses on the Hispanic audience and had struggled to find a break-out hit.

Total box office over Labor Day weekend was a record $157 million, according to

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25 Responses

Like 99.9% of all the other movies out there, I wont be wasting my money on it.

IceNoMore on September 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Yes, the Republicans are as pro-amnesty as the Democrats. Notice how the talk-show hosts talk about everything except the immigration bills? Defunding health care, Syria, the latest indignity of the day, etc.

They are becoming liberals.

Little Al on September 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

I agree, Debbie, that this portends things to come with amnesty, but I think it has global business implications, also.

With overseas markets playing and increasingly important role in TV and film, Hispanic – themed or identifiable productions automagically ensure double the domestic sales and make it easier to sell to a myriad of other countries where black-haired, brown-eyed stars can be plausibly dubbed as their own.

An example of this is “The Bridge” which is currently a modest hit for FX domestically and is based on the original Swedish/Danish series of the same name (“Bron/Broen.”)

However, just 8 episodes aired and 12 episodes in the can in its first season, the series has already been renewed by FX and has been sold into syndication in 122 countries.

This is phenomenal and, IMO, is squarely because of using Damien Bichir as the male lead – as well as American production values – but he is the main reason for guaranteed sales to the entire Mexican and Latin American markets right off the bat.

There was no such success with the original series set in and starring Swedes and Danes even though the premise and plots are identical.

DS_ROCKS! on September 3, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I’m not surprised at the high ranking, given that it’s the least competitive holiday weekend of the year(the Labor Day record is currently held by Halloween’s 30M opening weekend). Friday night, we had loads of families coming up asking for this movie. We’re a small, garden variety pre-stadium multiplex with a largely senior base, and the last time we had a movie not in English? Apocalypto from 2006. What made them all think we’d get it beats me. I just kept pointing them to the megaplex that happens to be showing Instructions.

While it’s not the first time a non-English film has performed so strongly, it is one of the very few that wasn’t a martial arts movie, such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (#6), Hero (#1), Fearless (#2), or Kung Fu Hustle (#5).

This is a serious uptick from Under the Same Moon/La Misma Luna, which was a pro-amnesty flick billed as being on par with Cinema Paradiso (dirty rotten liars), and is another of the few non-English movies to do fairly well in the states (#10, $2.76M opening wknd). The other most recent examples are Pan’s Labyrinth and Amelie, which both had the benefit of considerable art house and Oscar buzz behind them. And while others grossed considerably higher in the long run (namely Life is Beautiful), they never cracked the top 5 or 10 even.

Robert on September 3, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Whites in America is like breakfast because we, and our culture, are toast. Thank the liberals, for destroying the greatest, best country ever created.

Jonathan E. Grant on September 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    I meant to write, “Whites in America ARE like toast.”

    typo. Sorry people.

    Jonathan E. Grant on September 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

“Si, se puede!,” chants the amnesty enthusiast. I respond, “We have only begun to fight back.” We must stop this latest mass immigration surge or it’s game over, and the Hispanic and Muslim radicals win. The GOP is as bad as the Democrats. I no more trust Republicans McCain or Rubio than I do Democrats Schumer or Leahy.

Seek on September 3, 2013 at 5:43 pm

On the bright side of things, at least there will be heaps more Valedictorians, family-oriented & uber religious hispanics joining the rotting experiment known as America. ///

I’d be afraid of a Latino planet. It may not be nice of me but I look at things as they ARE and NOT as people want to see them. To me, the Latino-American experience is almost akin to the horrible Black-American experience. Except with Latinos, you can say perhaps they may not know better because of their culture comes from OTHER countries. What is the Black American excuse? (We already know, they are dupes to the White Libtard Plantation…).

Their out-of-wedlock percentile is almost nose to nose with the Black-American one. Which is one of the reasons I can’t stand that false meme that they are so bloody “family oriented”. What a joke. Are people too PC to point that fallacy out? It’s getting old & tiring.

From my experience and what we grew up laughing at…the Latino experience is NOTHING I would want to be part of. I’ll say it for those who can’t.

Expect almost EVERYTHING to get tacky and ridiculous. I noticed way back in the 90s during that popular “talk show” genre craze just how cringe-worthy the Latinos could get. Remember when they would have shows (like on Geraldo or Maury Povich before he became a 100% sleaze-grinder…) on a tragic death or disappearance of a beloved family member and the people on the show would wear buttons to commemorate them? Well, when the Latinos came on they wore those buttons but they became almost satiric because they had to be the size of Flava Flav’s stupid, fricken’ big-ass clock! It wasn’t whitey doing that…that’s Latino culture…tacky and gauche (and I am being nice so I don’t offend….). It’s my favourite example of what can happen when you add “Latino” into the mix. However, it scares me as much as it amuses me so I am cognizant of the real horror the gallows humour provides.

Learn Spanish, but only because you’ll have to. Of course I think the language people must learn now (not out of fun, BTW) is Arabic but you better put espanol right up there. You’ll wanna keep a step ahead of a Latino nation. Ole!!

Skunky on September 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Skunky – that’s absolutely right. I watch Univision and Telemundo once in a while to sharpen my Espanol and it’s still slapstick, T&A, variety shows and other low-brow fare. Luckily, as another poster points out, the Mexican cuties are easy on the eyes.

    Although, to be fair, I think that there is a dearth of true comedic giftedness and refined sense of humor in the rest of the world including Europe and notably England, although I know some would argue that.

    But this reminds me of a side-splittingly funny skit that “Mad TV” did years ago lampooning a Mexican talk shows. Will Sasso played the clown “Poco Loco”” who would intermittently interrupt the show riding in on a tricycle and honking his clown horn. I’m lol’ing about right now some ten years later.

    DS_ROCKS! on September 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      Thank you, DS_Rocks. You illustrated something I thought of but did not add in my post. Those spanish stations are HORRIBLE. If I hate the mainstream American culture on TV & the movies, you can imagine how I will hate that Espanol pap. Dios mio!

      No different than useless & crappy BET. Garbage in, garbage out!

      And I am a girl and don’t like the “Mamacitas”. They have always embarrassed me and the men are short, ugly and pervy. I guess the food is good and the only Latino music I like is old fashioned Mexicano.

      The future looks horrible and tacky! Que lastima!

      Skunky on September 4, 2013 at 10:01 am

Oh, and let me provide some evidence of just how disgusting it can get.

Do you know the scummy city of Lawrence, MA and their charming Mayor Willie Lantigua? That creep has a virtual license to steal and to be as bad as he wants to be. He’s more brazen than you can imagine, too.

How does he stay? The Latino community LOVES him. They don’t care what he does. That’s the pride of Latinos everywhere. Be afraid.

Skunky on September 3, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Agree, agree 100%. Mexifornia is a dire warning of how it will get. I told a mexican friend that the ONLY reason I wanted to learn spanish was to be able to eavesdrop on the scum bags robbing the places I shop at. Hey cabrone, yada yada, so on so forth. I confess to a soft spot for the senioritas and chicken burritos but after that….

    samurai on September 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Debbie, another way of looking at this – the English language movies are so bad that a Spanish movie that shows in only 347 screens ends up piquing a movie that shows on 2130.

Had Hollywood been producing good movies in general, this wouldn’t be happening.

Infidel on September 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm

7 of the top 10 radio stations per Arbitron are Spanish language, and have been for 15+ years. Nothing new folks

#1 Vato on September 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm

in Los Angeles that is…

#1 Vato on September 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I’m think that Univision overtook NBC in national ratings not too long ago.

    DS_ROCKS! on September 4, 2013 at 1:18 am

Not a single article on Syria?? We’re here discussing some Latino movie?

Clayton on September 3, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    There are other sites that discuss it. You are not forced to be here.

    Worry01 on September 4, 2013 at 4:16 am

It is a sobering reality that Hispanic oriented programing will only become more and more predominant over time.

Worry01 on September 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm

I just saw the movie tonight, and it was pretty good, that is probably why the grosses were high. It wasn’t slick or had a political point, it was goodhearted, and funny, and enjoyable.

Mike on September 4, 2013 at 3:29 am

Think about…

The influx of Spanish – all sourcing countries – is really not a problem of their creation. Our Politicians, in their unending limitless quest for more power, have sold the PRODUCERS of this country down the tubes.

My cousins who married Hispanics had husbands and children who were educated and worked. My super good friends from a Central American county have earned degrees as have their children and are successful, a compliment I have given them many times.

There are certain areas of U.S. life / culture I DO NOT WISH TO SEE CHANGED, i.e. English Language as the common and / or Legal Language, Capitalism being replaced by Socialist-Marxist ideas, and the Rule of Law.

What needs to be changed is the Welfare State, the Leviathan FedGov, the false mythological belief in an American Utopia birthed by a cesspool of restrictions on Individual Rights, and the apparent need to think we can govern the world.

People come here to succeed because they cannot succeed in those countries from which they come. For example, Mexico. Do the research, learn about the Hierarchy of the Privileged, the corruption, and all the other reasons why Mexico is what it is today. On the other hand, ask yourself why Israel, what – 70 yrs old?, is what it is today and that is head ‘n shoulders above most of their neighbors.

You want things to remain conducive for individual achievement and success then elect people who believe in America, believe in State’s Rights, and value the type of Education that produces skilled Winners and not touchy-feely, social justice wimps. And while we’re at it, dump the Fed Reserve, eliminate the $220 TRILLION Debt, and stop imprisoning people who do stupid things to themselves ‘cuz choices have consequences and that is for the individual to realize and handle.

Am I on a roll today or what!?!?

Dennis on September 4, 2013 at 8:03 am

Although I am a hardcore anti-amnesty activist and writer, and have been for years, it appears more and more likely that both parties have again sold out our long term future in the hopes of short term votes. Sadly, for the GOP, those votes aren’t headed their way no matter what they do or say; something they can’t seem to grasp. I had high hopes for Rand Paul, but he’s proved to be no different in his about turnface over amnesty for illegal immigration. Notice too that there’s no discussion about abopting English as our official language either. Why? Because Washington has already decided we’re going to be a defacto bi-lingual nation. The only real question, in my opinion, is which language is going to be dominate.

Paul on September 4, 2013 at 9:39 am

Debbie, as a an American of Latino descent, I can tell you that amnesty WILL destroy this country. All my life I have had to struggle not with neo-conservative racism but rather leftist elitist pandering. The left feels like they need to HELP hispanics, sort of a modern day White Man’s burden if you will. This condescending attitude permeates the left and is self-destructing. The goal of the left is to turn America into Cuba, that is their collective dream. May God help us if these clowns in DC pass any form of “COMPREHENSIVE” reform. Why change something that doesn’t need changing?

Marc on September 4, 2013 at 11:28 am

I think the fact that “Getaway” is awful and this “Instructions not Included” movie is getting great reviews is the main reason behind it’s success! Whether this amnesty stuff goes through or not, it won’t change the fact that the Latino community will continue to be a growing demographic. This country is a melting pot of people from all over the world, obviously not everyone here is a saint and there are plenty of bad seeds, but to discriminate based on ethnicity, race, religion or language is juvenile…

Look at the movie that finished #1. It’s about a British pop group!! Let’s accuse the Brits of stealing the hearts and imaginations of our teenage girls….

Clayton on September 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

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