Par, Latham reup bid for homevid laff niche

'Bad Boys of Comedy' to be first release under pact

Paramount has renewed its first-look deal with producer Walter Latham for two years and agreed to launch a Latham Entertainment Media homevideo label as part of the pact.

Deal calls for Paramount Home Entertainment to distribute made-for-video projects under the Latham label. First release will be “Bad Boys of Comedy,” with Latham partnering and exec producing with Sean “P Diddy” Combs; Phil Robinson and Peter Safran will produce.

Latham’s other film projects at Par include golf comedy “The Club,” scripted by Ali LeRoi and produced by Larry Brezner and Latham; romantic comedy “Thick and Thin,” by Cheryl Edwards, for Mo’Nique; and “Rewind,” a comedy project with producer David Permut.

Latham’s original two-year Kings of Comedy tour, starring Steve Harvey, Bernie Mac, D.L. Hughley and Cedric the Entertainer, grossed $37 million; the Paramount/MTV Films pic of the tour grossed $38 million. He also co-produced “Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat.”

“I am thrilled that we have extended our relationship with Walter,” said Sherry Lansing, chair of Paramount Motion Picture Group.

Besides film production, Latham’s become a prominent comedy tour promoter for acts including the Kings of Comedy, Martin Lawrence, Chris Tucker and the Queens of Comedy, as well as specials such as “Bring the Pain,” with Chris Rock, and D.L. Hughley’s “Going Home,” for HBO. Latham recently wrapped the Crown Royal Comedy Soul Festival, a 20-city tour with Earth Wind & Fire and the Isley Brothers and comedians Rickey Smiley, Adele Givens, Earthquake and Bruce Bruce.

“Paramount has been supportive of my vision and has shown loyalty to me and my projects since our partnership on ‘Original Kings of Comedy,’ ” Latham said. “The extension of my feature deal and the Latham Entertainment Media label is further commitment to our continued relationship in building the brand that I have created.”

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