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CineMedia buys in

Post house tries on distrib hat with 16 pics

BERLIN — Swiping hot titles from under the noses of well-established German players, post-production giant CineMedia has made its much-anticipated break into the international licensing biz, announcing Tuesday the acquisition of the rights to 16 Hollywood films, including Icon’s Mel Gibson starrer “What Women Want.”

CineMedia has taken full distribution rights for the German-speaking territories to six titles originally announced as part of an $87 million production and financing pact unveiled last year at Cannes between Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films and German production-investment fund Cinerenta.

Those pics are “Dreaming of Julia,” with Harvey Keitel; “Loving Lulu,” with Patrick Swayze and Melanie Griffith; “Prozac Nation,” with Andie MacDowell and Christina Ricci; “Anasazi Moon,” with Gary Oldman; “How to Kill Your Neighbor’s Dog,” which will be produced through Robert Redford’s South Fork Films; and “Dancing at the Blue Iguana.”

Family focus

Eight of the 16 titles are family entertainment TV movies, according to co-CEO Holger Heims.

The news comes after CineMedia announced last September plans to make a large investment with a major studio in this area.

Company is also in negotiations with vet sales agent Ann Dubinet’s Alchemy Entertainment. Dubinet re-surfaced at Mifed in October bearing four new titles, “Pluto Nash,” with Eddie Murphy; “The Tourist,” with Kathy Bates and Jeff Goldblum; “The Ruth Edding Story,” featuring Al Pacino and Angelina Jolie; and “The Gold Coast,” with Sylvester Stallone.

Deal is the first step in CineMedia’s bigger licensing plans. “We have some more deals in the pipeline and our next move is to go into co-production to secure rights early on,” Heims told Daily Variety. “We are in an excellent position to do so with our huge post-production infrastructure. We would post-produce where it makes sense.”

Besides the German-speaking rights, CineMedia has taken the Internet rights and plans to launch films on its film site (www.film.de) within the next couple of years. The company has been in the process of expanding beyond its core post-production activities into licensing, co-productions and the Internet.

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