If you’re a native Spanish speaker (or just love Spanish-language films), your choices for streaming movies can feel pretty limited. Which is where Pantaya comes in.
The app has the world’s largest selection of movies in Spanish (with programming from Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, and Spain), and the menus and text in the app itself can be switched between English and Spanish.
Pantaya is a spin-off of the movie studio Pantelion Films, a division of Lionsgate that makes Spanish-language films for American audiences. Its releases have included the George Lopez production Spare Parts, How to Be a Latin Lover starring Salma Hayek, Will Ferrell’s Casa de Mi Padre, and the 2013 comedy Instructions Not Included, which made about $100 million and became the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever to open in the United States.
“Latinas and Latinos in the United States buy about 25 percent of the movies tickets nowadays, and they’re just 17 percent of the U.S. population,” says Pantelion CEO Paul Presburger.
“We knew that if we delivered movies that simply told Latinx stories, these movies would resonate and succeed. And then we realized that what we were doing in theaters was also something that nobody else was doing in streaming.”
Pantaya is available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, and Presburger sees it as part of a larger movement. “The past few years, there’s been a trend where Netflix and Hulu and Amazon, and even cable networks, are making shows that focus on Latinos, and these shows have been hits,” he says.
“Our movies have been hits, and so have films like Disney and Pixar’s Coco. Hopefully we’re doing things, along with the rest, that Hollywood can look at and say, yes, the Latinx audience should be respected, and catered to.”