Showtime, MCEG Sterling pact for 5 pix

Showtime has closed its second worldwide-distribution deal for original movies, signing MCEG Sterling to take on the theatrical, video and TV rights to five pictures featuring such actors as Laura Dern, Tom Selleck and Theresa Russell.

The deal follows last month’s agreement in which Hallmark Entertainment will distribute at least 10 Showtime madefors outside the U.S. and Canada. MCEG Sterling and Hallmark will pay Showtime dollar guarantees averaging about half of the budget of each picture, according to sources.

Three of the MCEG movies, sources say, will cost about $4 million each: “Down Came a Blackbird,” with Dern, Vanessa Redgrave and Raul Julia; “Mrs. Munck,” with Kelly Preston and Bruce Dern; and “Ruby Jean & Joe,” with Selleck and JoBeth Williams.

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