Pantelion Films
TypeJoint venture
Key people
James M. McNamara
Paul Presburger
Edward Allen
ProductsMotion pictures
Television programs
OwnersTelevisaUnivision (50%)
Lionsgate (50%)

Pantelion Films is an American film production company that was created in 2010 and based in Santa Monica, California. The studio's goal is to bring wider theatrical distribution of movies aimed at Latino audiences. It is backed by TelevisaUnivision and Lionsgate. It has made theatrical relationships with movie exhibition chains including Regal Entertainment Group, AMC Theatres, Cinemex, and Cinemark. The studio's first film was 2011's From Prada to Nada, which Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa announced it had commissioned for a television series that did not materialize in 2012.[1]


Pantelion Films bills itself as the first major Latino Hollywood film studio. It marks a transformation of Hollywood film studios in recognizing the fastest growing segment of the United States entertainment targeting Hispanic audiences.[2] Pantelion Films' stature within the film industry was raised further when it successfully acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the 2012 Will Ferrell film, Casa de Mi Padre. The studio was able to move Latino films from strictly being limited release films to a wider, single weekend release on more than 200 screens simultaneously. This was new to the United States with respect to Hispanic audiences and represented the first major attempt by a U.S. based studio to cater to Latino audiences in this manner.

The chairman of Pantelion is James M. McNamara, former chief executive of Telemundo, its chief executive was former Lionsgate executive, Paul Presburger, and its chief operating officer is Edward Allen. Pantelion Films said that Latinos were the fastest growing segment of the movie going audience and were loyal DVD consumers.[3] As Lionsgate released many of Tyler Perry's films which reached an African American audience, Lionsgate and Grupo Televisa were striving for similar success with Latino audiences. McNamara said, "Latinos don't see themselves reflected in Hollywood movies" and said the studio's goal was to change that in their film releases.[4] Pressberger said that the studio hoped to avoid the clichéd, stereotyped images of Latino life and culture. "We get out of the stereotypes of narco kings and drug dealers and gang members" in our films.[5] Financially, tax breaks were "driving the decisions everywhere in the world," Presburger said as film companies including Pantelion looked to lower risks of investment through tax credit deals in the 2010s.[6] An example of how Pantelion actively used tax breaks came in 2014 when it reached a multi-picture deal with Indomina Media of the Dominican Republic to produce up to four Spanish-language films annually to be released by Pantelion.[7] The films were to be entirely produced in the Dominican Republic to take advantage of governmental film incentives.

Pantelion is not the first to target the Latino audience. Other attempts by U.S. studios to reach Latino audiences had met with little financial success. New Line Cinema struck a deal with the director of Mi Familia, Gregory Nava, to produce feature films for the Latino market.[8] But that did not gain momentum and was discontinued. Other studios trying to reach the market were Samuel Goldwyn Films in the early 2000s and a venture between Universal Studios which had a distribution agreement with Arenas Entertainment, another Latino film and television series producer, was discontinued in 2003. As the first decade of the 2000s continued, some Spanish-language films received theatrical distribution from Latino-based exhibitors including Cinema Latino or on art circuits. But the business model of Pantelion was to have larger opening weekends in U.S. multiplexes than had ever been previously attempted instead of limited release and bicycling of a limited numbers of prints around the country.

The studio was able to place From Prada to Nada on 256 U.S. theater screens and the film brought in just over $3 million at the box office.[9] The Los Angeles Times viewed the studio's first film as a "modest" box office success and noted the heavy television advertising on Univision in an attempt to reach audiences in the 21 cities in which the film was released. The studio's debut film received an ALMA Award given to Alexa Vega as Favorite Movie Actor in a Comedy or Musical. The film's success was significant enough that Televisa and Lionsgate extended their business relationship to include television program development, including the From Prada to Nada series announced in 2012. The studio's follow up film to Prada, No Eres Tú, Soy Yo, reached 226 theaters though brought in less money with $1.3 million.[10] The studio also picked up the U.S. rights for the foreign film Saving Private Perez which was placed on 161 U.S. screens and brought in $1.4 million at the box office.[11] The studio released the Will Farrell film Casa de Mi Padre in 2012 which would become the studio's highest-grossing title to that point with a $5.9 domestic box office total. The film was described as an "homage to classic westerns and telenovelas" and shot in Spanish.[12] The studio's follow-up film, Girl in Progress opened on Mother's Day weekend and would gross over $2 million domestically. In 2013, Pressburber said that his company made a slight shift from low budget films to "films that incorporate Latino talent and Latino themes but have universal appeal and can resonate with a broad commercial audience."[13]

Pantelion's biggest successes have come with star Eugenio Derbez whose Instructions Not Included led to a first-look deal with Derbez in 2014.[14] The film set a record for the highest grossing Spanish-language film to date, earning $44.4 million in the United States and $99 million worldwide.[15] The film opened on 348 screens in the United States on its first weekend handily winning the week's best per screen average with $22,547 per screen before expanding to 717 screens.[16] Derbez's 2017 release "How to Be a Latin Lover" became the studio's highest weekend box office performer earning $12 million in the last weekend of April in 2017."[17]

Pantelion also picked up its first English language film when it obtained the North American rights Paul Walker's film, Hours. Two weeks prior to the film's release date of December 13, 2013, Walker was killed in a car accident in Los Angeles, California on November 30, leaving Hours as the first film starring Walker to be released after his death. Pantelion's second English language feature was announced as Summer Camp starring Diego Boneta and directed by Alberto Marini, but was beaten to the theaters by George Lopez's Pantelion release, Spare Parts,[18] and The Vatican Tapes. In 2015, Pantelion released Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos which was the first wide-release for a Mexican animated feature and followed that in 2016 with the animated, La Leyenda del Chupacabras.

Late in 2016, Hemisphere Media Group partnered with Lionsgate to create a subscription video on demand service incorporating Pantelion's film titles.[19] The service called Pantaya launched in August 2017.[20] In 2021, Hemisphere Media Group acquired full ownership rights to the Pantaya streaming service from Lionsgate for $124 million, following the latter's decision to focus on the expansion of its Starz brand.


In 2019, Pantelion Films was awarded an Impact Award by the National Hispanic Media Coalition for their “Excellence in Production of Latino-Themed Content."[21]


Film Release Director(s) Notes
From Prada to Nada January 28, 2011 Angel Gracia co-production with OddLot Entertainment and Gilbert Films; first film by Pantelion Films
Go For It! May 13, 2011 Carmen Marron co-production with Sparkhope Productions and Go For It! LCC
Labios rojos
(Red Lips)
October 7, 2011 Rafa Lara co-production with Cyclus Production; animated film; distribution only
No eres tú, soy yo April 8, 2011 Alejandro Springall distribution only
Saving Private Perez September 2, 2011 Beto Gómez co-production with Lemon Films; distribution only
Pastorela December 2, 2011 Emilio Portes distribution only
Secretos de familia
' '(Family Secrets)
2012 Paco del Toro co-Production with Gateway Films/Vision Video and Armagedón producciones ; distribution only (Its rental and / or issuance is prohibited.)
El fantástico mundo de Juan Orol
(The Fantastic World of Juan Orol)[22]
2012 Sebastián del Amo co-production with Celuloide Films; distribution only
La Leyenda de la Llorona
(The Legend of the Llorona)
2012 Alberto Rodríguez co-production with Ánima Estudios; animated film; distribution only
Los Ilusionautas
' '(The Illusionauts)
2012 Eduardo Schuldt co-Productions with Aronnax Studios; distribution only
La Última Muerte
(The Last Death)
February 10, 2012 David Ruiz co-production with Lemon Films; distribution only
Casa de Mi Padre March 16, 2012 Matt Piedmont co-production with Gary Sanchez Productions and NALA Films
Girl in Progress May 11, 2012 Patricia Riggen co-production with Televisa Films, Anxiety Productions, and Latitude Entertainment
Hecho en México
(Made in Mexico)
November 30, 2012 Duncan Bridgeman distribution only; documentary film
El Santos vs. La Tetona Mendoza[23] 2013 Alejandro Lozano co-production with Átomo Films and Peyote Films; animated film; distribution only
Filly Brown April 19, 2013 Youssef Delara
Michael D. Olmos
co-production with Silent Giant Entertainment, Olmos Productions, Indomina Releasing
Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla May 3, 2013 Rafa Lara co-production with Gala Films; distribution only
Instructions Not Included August 30, 2013 Eugenio Derbez co-production with Alebrije Cine y Video, Fulano Mengano y Asociados; highest-grossing film.
Nosotros los Nobles
(The Noble Family)
November 1, 2013 Gaz Alazraki co-production with Alazraki Films; distribution only
Pulling Strings October 4, 2013 Pitipol Ybarra co-production with Trazende Films
Hours December 13, 2013 Eric Heisserer co-production with The Safran Company, Laguna Ridge Pictures, and PalmStar Media Capital
César Chávez March 28, 2014 Diego Luna co-production with Canana Films, Participant Media, and Televisa Cine
Cantinflas August 29, 2014 Sebastián del Amo co-production with Kenio Films
Mas Negro Que La Noche
(Darker Than Night)
September 26, 2014 Henry Bedwell co-production with Itaca Films, CeLeste Films, Filmadora Nacional, and Neo Art Producciones; distribution only
Spare Parts January 16, 2015 Sean McNamara co-production with Televisa Cine, Circle of Confusion, Traveso Productions, and Brookwell-McNamara Entertainment
A La Mala
(Falling for Mala)
February 27, 2015 Pitipol Ybarra distribution only
The Vatican Tapes July 24, 2015 Mark Neveldine co-production with Lakeshore Entertainment
Panic 5 Bravo[24] September 1, 2015 Kuno Becker distribution only
Un gallo con muchos huevos
(Huevos: Little Rooster's Egg-cellent Adventure)
September 4, 2015 Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste
Rodolfo Riva Palacio Alatriste
co-production with Huevocartoon Producciones; animated film
October 9, 2015 Joe Menéndez co-production with Panamax Films and Lantica Pictures
600 Miles December 4, 2015 Gabriel Ripstein co-production with Lucia Films; distribution only
Busco novio para mi mujer February 19, 2016 Enrique Begné co-production with Animal de Luz Films,
Summer Camp March 18, 2016 Alberto Marini co-production with Filmax Entertainment; distribution only
Pink...El rosa no es como lo pintan 2016 Paco del Toro co-production with Gateway Films/Vision Video and Armagedón Producciones; distribution only ( Its rental and / or issuance is prohibited)
Compadres April 22, 2016 Enrique Begné co-production with Draco Films
No Manches Frida
(With Frida?!?!)
September 2, 2016 Nacho G. Velilla co-production with Televisa Cine, Constantin Film, Alcon Entertainment, Rat Pack Film Production, and Neverending Media
La Leyenda del Chupacabras[25] October 14, 2016 Alberto Rodríguez co-production with Ánima Estudios; animated film; distribution only
Un Padre No Tan Padre
(From Dad to Worse)
January 27, 2017 Raul Martinez co-production with Panorama Global; distribution only
Haunted Tales-The Movie 2017 Víctor-Hugo Borges Co-production with Glaz entretenimento, Copa Studio and Warner Bros ; animated film ; distribution only (Folded by 9 Story Media Group )
Everybody Loves Somebody February 17, 2017 Catalina Aguilar Mastretta co-production with Ring Cine and Draco Films
How to Be a Latin Lover April 28, 2017 Ken Marino co-production with 3Pas Studios
3 Idiotas
(3 Idiots)
June 3, 2017 Carlos Bolado co-production with Neverending Films, Cutting Edge, and Greenlight Pictures; distribution only
Hazlo Como Hombre
(Do It Like Hombre)
September 1, 2017 Nicolás López co-production with BH5 and Sobras International Pictures; distribution only
Condorito: La Película
(Condorito: The Movie)
January 12, 2018 Alex Orrelle
Eduardo Schuldt
co-production with Twentieth Century Fox Aronnax Animation Studios and Pajarraco Films, LCC; animated film; distribution only (in Chile disributed by Twentieth Century Fox )
La Boda de Valentina
(Valentina's Wedding)[26]
February 9, 2018 Marco Polo Constandse Córdoya co-production with Filmadora Nacional
Cómplices[27] March 2, 2018 Luis Eduardo Reyes co-production with Lantica Media; distributed by Cinetlan
La Leyenda del Charro Negro
(The Legend of Charro Negro)[28][29]
March 23, 2018 Alberto Rodríguez co-production with Ánima Estudios; animated film; distribution only with Cinetlan
Overboard April 13, 2018 Rob Greenberg co-production with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; remake of the 1987 film of the same name starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez.
Ya veremos August 31, 2018 Pedro Pablo Ibarra co-production with Sobras International Pictures and A Toda Madre Entertainment.
Perfect Strangers (2018)[30]
(Perfect Strangers)
January 11, 2019 Manolo Caro Mexican remake of Perfetti sconosciuti
No Manches Frida 2 March 15, 2019 Nacho G. Velilla Sequel to No Manches Frida
Tod@s Caen[31]
(Everybody Falls)
August 30, 2019 Ariel Winograd U.S. distribution
En brazos de un asesino December 6, 2019 Matías Moltrasio
Las pildoras de mi novio
(My Boyfriend's Meds)[32]
February 21, 2020[33] Diego Kaplan
Un rescate de huevitos
(An Egg Rescue)
August 27, 2021[34][35][36] Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste
Rodolfo Riva Palacio Alatriste
co-production with Cinergistic Films and Huevocartoon Producciones; animated film
¿Y cómo es él?
(Backseat Driver)[37]
April 22, 2022 Ariel Winograd

Upcoming films

Film Release Director(s) Notes
Trunk Train: The Movie September 7, 2022 Zé Brandão Co-production with Copa Studio and DreamWorks Pictures ; animated film ; distribution only (Folded by Universal Pictures and Manequim Filmes)
Cuando sea joven[38] September 23, 2022 Raúl Martínez
La Usurpadora, the Musical TBA Santiago Limón


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  2. ^ Fritz, Ben. "Hollywood Takes Spanish Lessons As Latinos Stream to the Movies." Wall Street Journal, 9 Aug. 2013. Accessed online at
  3. ^ Barnes, Brooks. Lionsgate and Televisa Unite on Films Aimed at Latinos. New York Times. 14 September 2010, p. B1.
  4. ^ Wollian, Milia. How Pantelion Films Lures Latinos to the Box Office. Fast Company. 12 January 2011.
  5. ^ Wollian (2011).
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  14. ^ McNary, David. "Eugenio Derbez Developing ‘The Valet’ Remake Under New Pantelion Deal." Variety, 5 September 2014.
  15. ^ "The Hollywood Reporter Names the Young Hispanic Hollywood Class of 2013." Hollywood Reporter, 22 November 2013.
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  17. ^ McClintock, Pamela. "Box Office: 'Fate of the Furious' Wins; 'How to Be a Latin Lover,' 'Baahubali 2' Beat 'The Circle'." Hollywood Reporter, 30 April 2017.
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  20. ^ Munson, Ben. "Lionsgate, Hemisphere launch Spanish-language SVOD Pantaya." FierceCable, 1 August 2017 accessed 15 November 2017 at
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  33. ^ "Las Pildoras de mi Novio (My Boyfriend's Meds) - MovieStock". Retrieved 22 July 2019.
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