By Dave McNary
NBCU Telemundo Enterprises is launching Telemundo Films to develop, produce, and market feature films in English and Spanish for the U.S. Hispanic market.
The unit, to be led by Telelmundo Network President Luis Silberwasser, will launch with the movie “Lowriders,” in partnership with Imagine Entertainment, Blumhouse Productions’ BH Tilt, and Universal Pictures. The film, which will debut on May 12, stars Eva Longoria, Demian Bichir, Melissa Benoist, Theo Rossi, Tony Revolori, and Gabriel Chavarria.
“Lowriders” opened the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. The drama focuses on the dynamics of a fractured family in East Los Angeles and centers on the world of customizing classic cars.
“Telemundo Films will allow us to leverage our expertise to expand our entertainment business into a new genre of storytelling,” said Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “We are excited to kick off this new venture in partnership with Imagine, Blumhouse, and Universal Pictures, and look forward to working with them to serve the vibrant movie-going Hispanic market.”
Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil, “Lowriders” was produced by Brian Grazer and Jason Blum. The release will be handled by BH Tilt, Blumhouse’s releasing label that utilizes specialized distribution and marketing strategies for films that serve specific audiences.
Thursday’s announcement noted that Hispanic moviegoers generated an estimated $2.6 billion in 2015. It also said that while Hispanics represent 17% of the population, they accounted for 23% of tickets sold. The demographic shows its strongest preference for action and adventure, followed by comedy and suspense.
Additionally, viewership of Telemundo has been on the upswing in the past few years and so the brand has more value as a marketing vehicle now.