The top three grossing films at the Argentine box office this year are all animated: Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, and Metegol. If the last film sounds unfamiliar, that’s because Metegol (aka Foosball) is a homegrown animated feature from Argentina directed by one of that country’s most respected filmmakers, Juan José Campanella. His 2009 film El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) won the Academy Award for best foreign language film.
Metegol cost $22 million, which makes it the most expensive film, animated or otherwise, ever produced in Argentina, as well as the most expensive animated feature ever made in South America. The film was funded by a Colombian oil exec Jorge Estrada Mora, whose resources allowed Campanella to set up an animation studio in Buenos Aires and hire advisors like Disney animation veteran and Despicable Me story originator Sergio Pablos. These details are discussed in a New Yorker piece, which is the most in-depth write-up the film has received in the American media.
It doesn’t appear that the film has a U.S. distributor yet, but that’s irrelevant. The film has already proven to be a financial success thanks to strong foreign sales in Europe, Latin America and Asia, as well as the massive success on its home turf.