NEW YORK — Busted theatricals are thriving at John Malone’s Starz!, which has scheduled five of them over the next eight months, highlighted by “Tiptoes,” starring Kate Beckinsale, Gary Oldman and Matthew McConaughey.
“The quality of the cast is the most important thing we look for when we buy a movie that will have its premiere showing on Starz,” said Stephan Shelanski, Starz senior VP of program acquisitions, planning and scheduling.
Shelanski declined to discuss license fees, but Starz will pay about $750,000 for a world premiere and only about a tenth of that figure for a movie that goes to DVD first.
“Tiptoes,” which has its Starz debut in March, is a drama about a family afflicted with a genetic disposition to dwarfism. Peter Dinklage, an actual dwarf, is in the movie, and Oldman plays a dwarf with the help of special effects. Columbia’s video division has already put “Tiptoes” on DVD.
As a world premiere on Jan. 30, Starz has “High Roller: The Stu Unger Story,” from New Line, with Michael Imperioli as a poker player hopelessly addicted to gambling.
Two other movies will kick off on Starz multiplex net the Mystery Channel: “The I Inside,” a world premiere in February from Dimension Pictures, with Ryan Philippe as an amnesiac trying to find out who killed his brother; and “Le Pacte du silence,” a subtitled film from Columbia Homevideo starring Gerard Depardieu and Elodie Bouchez, about a doctor/priest who becomes obsessed with two women who are identical twins. “Silence” bows Thursday on Mystery.
Another world premiere, “Den of Lions,” which Touchstone Pictures bought from Nu Image, starts in July on Starz’s Action multiplex net. It’s the story of an FBI agent (Stephen Dorff) trying to get the goods on a Russian Mafia bigwig (Bob Hoskins).
Columbia made-for-vid family pic “Soccer Dog: European Cup” will bow on Starz’s Family net in February.