Miramax nabs rights to ‘Gunmen’

Miramax Films confirmed Thursday that it has purchased all domestic distribution rights to the Christopher Lambert/Mario Van Peebles/Denis Leary starrer “Gunmen,” which will be distributed through the company’s Dimension Films banner.

Budgeted in the $ 10 million-to-$ 11 million range, “Gunmen” was purchased from co-financier Columbia TriStar Home Video.

As producer of the movie, Davis Entertainment has final right to sign off on the business transaction.

The pic is about a renegade drug enforcement agent and a gunrunner who discover that they each hold one clue to a $ 300 million mystery. Pic sports a rap soundtrack, punctuated by Big Daddy Kane, that is set for distribution by MCA Records.

The “Gunman” deal was negotiated by CTHV executive veepee Gina Resnick, who said the company felt “strongly for the prospects” of Miramax’s distribution plans.

Miramax co-chairman Bob Weinstein said Dimension tentatively plans to release the movie in December to “counter-program all of the artistic movies that get released at the end of the year.”

The transaction gives Miramax a double-whammy of Lambert movies for its Dimension banner, which was launched last year as the action alternative to its art-house fare. The other Lambert title is “Fortress,” which Miramax acquired earlier this month and plans to release this fall.

Both “Fortress” and “Gunmen” were produced by John Davis and John Flock, who shared the producer’s title with Laurence Mark on “Gunmen.” Co-producer of “Gunmen” is John Baldecchi.

“Gunmen” is just the latest of several Columbia TriStar Home Video titles to be sold to Miramax, including “sex, lies and videotape,” director John Sayles’ “Passion Fish” and “Fortress.”

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