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Live snaps up vid rights to ‘Crying’

Live Home Video yesterday announced acquisition of exclusive homevideo rights to several Miramax pictures and projects, including “The Crying Game,” and a joint production agreement for theatrical films.

Besides “The Crying Game,” the homevid deal includes homevid distribution rights to upcoming theatrical releases “Mother’s Boys,” starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Vanessa Redgrave and Peter Gallagher; “The Piano,” starring Holly Hunter , Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill; and “Ruby Cairo,” starring Andie MacDowell, Liam Neeson and Viggo Mortensen.

Miramax and Live also will seek to produce projects together, with Miramax also holding out the possibility of theatrical release of some of the films Live has produced. No titles were revealed by the parties.

Also in the package are distribution rights to a number of family-oriented live-action features that will be distributed on homevideo by LHV’s children’s label, Family Home Entertainment. Among those titles is “King of the Wind,” starring Richard Harris and Glenda Jackson.

The deal could surprise some observers, as Warner Bros. Home Video was reportedly in intensive negotiations for the homevid portion of the package, that deal allegedly complicated by Live Home Video’s financial restructuring.

As recently as one week ago, Warner sources believed the package was heading their way. A Warner Bros. Home Video spokesman declined comment.

Live president/CEO Dave Mount pointed to the ongoing relationship between the two companies, noting that Miramax has theatrically released such Live-produced films as “Bob Roberts” and “Reservoir Dogs.” Live Home Video has reciprocated with homevid distribution of such Miramax titles as “Madonna: Truth or Dare.”

Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Miramax Films, said his company felt “The Crying Game” was a key to the deal.

“We felt that it should be distributed by an independent video company that understands how to maximize the profit on this type of film,” Weinstein said. “The fact that Live was able to ship 100,000 video units of “Reservoir Dogs” proves their ability to market in a video landscape dominated by the majors.”

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