At least four of the major studios - Universal, Warner Bros., Columbia and Disney - are spicing up their Hispanic ad budgets as a result. 'You no longer have one, large American mainstream,' said Mark Gill, spokesperson for Columbia Pictures. 'Hispanics are a large demographic, and their frequency of moviegoing is in many cases higher than the norm. You're a fool to treat that segment as you would every other.'
Today, 7-15% of an average $6-million ad budget goes to Hispanic media, studio execs said.
Marketing expert Juan Carlos Nieto Del Rio, Hispanic Entertainment/L.A., called that estimate high. Nevertheless, he said, budgets have soared since 1990, particularly on action films like Unforgiven, which attract larger Hispanic audiences.
Motion Picture Association of America president Jack Valenti further enhanced the growing legitimacy of the market last month, when he delivered an address noting that Hispanic attendance at English-language films has grown from virtually nothing six years ago to 13% of the box office this year.
In the last month, Hispanic TV networks Telemundo and Univision have begun soliciting the studios, said Alan Dinwiddie, vp, special markets for Disney, which will release the Hispanic-oriented Bound By Honor this month.
Columbia's Gill said the market will expand as more Hispanic-oriented films hit the theater. 'As Hollywood gets smarter about finding fresh stories, we'll hire more directors like El Mariachi's Robert Rodriguez that will result in a wave of Latin films, just like the recent wave of black films.'
Article includes table with movie patronage data.
AT THE FRONT OF THE LINE
Hispanics Lead in Trips to Movies
Av # % who've seen at
films seen least 1 film/year
Anglos 6.6/person 66%
Hispanics 9.3 77%
(*) Industry estimates
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)