ORION, LARGO PACT

Three-pic deal includes 'City,' 'This World'

Orion Pictures and Largo Entertainment have inked a multipic pact making Orion the domestic distrib in all media for two feature films produced by Largo and another to be co-financed by both companies.

The Largo pics are the John Irvin-helmed crime drama “City of Industry,” slated for a March 7 opening, and “This World, Then the Fireworks,” directed by Michael Oblowitz and pegged for a summer release after a Sundance film fest premiere.

Orion senior exec VP Steve Stabler confirmed the deal, saying, “This is the formation of a strategic alliance for the production and distribution of feature films by Largo and Orion with a view toward continuing in the future.”

Largo chairman Barr Potter told Daily Variety, “This is the culmination of a longterm dialogue. Steve Stabler and (Orion senior exec VP) Brad Krevoy are terrific producers with a proven track record.”

Under Orion marketing chief John Hegeman and domestic distribution head Jay Peckos, Orion is understood to be ramping up its motion picture releasing operation with a view toward putting 16 films on U.S. screens this year. Orion had a multipicture deal with Live Entertainment that has ended with Steven Buscemi’s “Trees Lounge.” But the Largo deal signals the opening of an aggressive acquisitions campaign, according to Krevoy, in order to fill the Orion pipeline.

“This deal sends a message to all filmmakers, especially those at Sundance, that Orion is back into acquisitions,” said Krevoy. Orion also has “Ulee’s Gold” premiering at Sundance this year.

“This World, Then the Fireworks,” penned by Larry Gross from a Larry Thompson story, stars Billy Zane, Gina Gershon, Sheryl Lee and Rue McClanahan. Producers are Chris Hanley, Brad Wyman and Gross.

Produced by Evzen Kolar and scripter Ken Solarz, “City of Industry” stars Timothy Hutton, Stephen Dorff and Famke Janssen.

The third feature, yet to be determined, will be in the $15 million range, said Stabler, who will produce with Krevoy. Largo retains overseas rights on all three pics.

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