Bash launches publication pair

CANNES — Tuesday’s party was one for the books. Actually, it was one for two books.

Variety and Boxtree hosted an afternoon bash at the Variety Pavilion to launch a pair of publications, “Variety Movie Guide 1999″ and “The Variety Almanac 1999.”

Telling the crowd that “this business is all about relationships,” Variety international publishing director Peter Cowie said the two tomes are the first results of the paper’s pact with U.K. publishing giant Boxtree, “a relationship that’s exciting and promises much for the future.”

Describing his firm as “the U.K.’s leading publisher of pop culture,” Boxtree managing director Adrian Sington admitted he was at a loss for words when once asked to define pop culture: “I hemmed and hawed and finally came up with (a definition): Variety.”

“Movie Guide” is the latest in an annual series of books that offer reviews and listings of thousands of pics. At nearly 1,000 pages, it also includes cast and production credits.

The almanac, planned as another annual event, is the first potpourri of Variety info, including film fest skeds and contacts, all-time box office champs, film credits, winners of major awards and credits of Broadway shows. In the U.S., the almanac will be published by Perigee Books as “The Variety Insider.”

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