Wrangling the Hispanic Movie Audience

Last year, comedian Will Ferrell met with the founders of Nala Films to see if they’d be interested in footing the bill for a low-budget comedy in which he would star as a simpleminded Mexican ranch hand.

“We asked him, ‘Do you speak Spanish?’ ” recalls Darlene Caamaño Loquet, president of Nala Films, which wants to produce movies aimed at the Hispanic market. “He said, ‘No.'”

Not a problem, they said, even though “Casa de mi Padre”—to be released March 16 at about 400 U.S. locations—is almost entirely in Spanish, with English subtitles. The film also inverts the seven-year-old company’s original mission statement, which was to make films in English with Latino stars.

Mr. Diez Barroso, 36, is the great grandson of Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta, who founded Televisa, Mexico’s biggest media company. He says there are good business reasons to pursue the Hispanic market: In 2010, Hispanics accounted for nearly 30% of frequent moviegoers, even though they only comprised about 16% of the overall population, according to the most recent figures from the Motion Picture Association of America.

Read the entire article at the Wall Street Journal.