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Moore's 9/11 Film Finds Distributor


tristy
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LOS ANGELES - Film director Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” will hit U.S. theaters June 25 after backers Bob and Harvey Weinstein struck distribution deals for the controversial, Cannes festival award-winning film, the parties said Tuesday.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and IFC Films, major players in the arena for independent movies, will release Moore’s movie to theaters, and cable television network Showtime will handle the sale of rights for pay-TV.

“Fahrenheit 9/11” caused a firestorm of publicity in May after the Walt Disney Co. refused to allow its Miramax Films unit, which is run by the Weinstein brothers, to release the movie to theaters claiming it was too politically charged.

“Fahrenheit 9/11,” which won the coveted Palm d’Or, the top prize at last month’s prestigious Cannes film festival, looks at America’s reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

And it attempts to link President Bush and his family to powerful Saudis, including the family of Osama bin Laden.

“I think, for a large segment of the population, it is going to be a must-see film,” said Jon Feltheimer, Lions Gate chief executive. “Forget the controversy, if you look at the body of Michael Moore’s work. It’s really good filmmaking.”

IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring echoed much of Feltheimer’s sentiment and said his company has a mission of being a place where independent filmmakers can come to get their voices heard by a wide audience.

“This film will cause debate, but that is also what this country is founded on,” Sehring said.

Moore's voice

Moore won the U.S. film industry’s top honor, the Oscar, for 2002 documentary “Bowling for Columbine” about gun use, and at the ceremony that is watched by millions of television viewers he launched into a speech against the war in Iraq.

He has said he is no fan of President Bush and wanted “Fahrenheit 9/11” to be released ahead of the November presidential election so that it might influence the outcome.

“Everybody knows who I am and where I stand. Oh no, I’m not trying to pretend I’m being even-handed with Bush,” he told Reuters in May when the controversy erupted.

In a statement announcing the distribution deal, Moore seemed to take a swipe at Disney, thanking Lions Gate and IFC for “bringing good family entertainment” to audiences.

Neither the Weinsteins nor Moore were available to comment, a spokesman said.

Last week the Weinsteins cut a deal with Disney to buy back the film rights for the cost of the film, estimated at $6 million.

Sources near the early dealmaking said the Weinsteins were seeking agreements under which they retained ownership of the film and the distribution partners helped fund film prints and marketing then shared in box office receipts.

Both Feltheimer and Sehring declined to comment on the financial details.

The new distribution partners did say that they already had significant interest from theater chains wanting to show the film and who were not shying away from the controversy.

Sehring said they had originally wanted to release “Fahrenheit 9/11” on July 2 in about 500 theaters, but moved it up on the calendar. He said the number of theaters showing it had yet to be determined.

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Lion's Gate seems to be the Weinstein Brothers' go to company whenever they get into trouble with a movie. Of course, after having solid success with box office and DVD from Dogma, why not continue to bail Miramax out? Good to see the film fell into the right hands, and Independent Film Channel already rules for releasing Waking Life in theatres.

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So... is Lion's Gate the only distributor with some fucking balls in this country?  Hot damn, I love them more and more everyday

Well, love them for their balls....hate them for their lack of pimping.

The only thing I remember recently that got decent hype from them(non-oscar related), was The Punisher. Although, they'd be fools not to blow a ton of money on advertising for this.

Edited by Numbahs
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Well, love them for their balls....hate them for their lack of pimping.

The only thing I remember recently that got decent hype from them(non-oscar related), was The Punisher.  Although, they'd be fools not to blow a ton of money on advertising for this.

Yeah, but it's a documentary which means not much hype at all. Sure, it's Moore and it's probably his most notorious work to date, but it still probably won't get more hype than a spring time flop. Still, much love to Lion's Gate.

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I was thinking the same thing. They seem to be putting out the more interesting movies than other big studios.

Not really. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a guaranteed cash grab, and Lion's Gate wasn't too dim to pick that up. In the past year, they've released Dogville and The Girl With A Pearl Earing. To the best of my knowledge, those are the only good films they've released over that entire year. Lion's Gate will have a fluke hit here and there, but they release just as many shitty films as the rest of them. I must say that Focus Features and Miramax are my favorites when it comes to distributing unique films.

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Guest homerjfry

The trailer got me hyped for it already. Best part was his attempt to get Congressmen to enlist their children in the army. Many of us have been arguing that for years, but I doubt it got anywhere.

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Lion's Gate will have a fluke hit here and there, but they release just as many shitty films as the rest of them.

Yes, but they have a place in my heart simply for The Rules of Attraction. Although it is true that they've made some crap films just this year even. *cough*Godsend*Cough* I just hope to God they option Glamorama and make that.

*realizes he's marking for a Bret Easton Ellis novel*

*runs away*

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