U’s ‘Man’ on track

Celebs show up for 'Cinderella' story

At Monday’s Universal Amphitheater preem for “Cinderella Man,” chatter was over how the pic’s release pattern — a springtime opening for a “quality” film, hoped-for extended play in the summer, a December DVD launch coinciding with awards season — mirrors U’s schedule for “Seabiscuit.” One wag said distribs are calling the Ron Howard-helmed boxing film “Fistbiscuit.”

U execs didn’t dispute the similarity, but are focusing on the pic’s potential draw power.

“When there’s nothing else out there for adults, the opportunity is tremendous,” said U vice chairman Marc Shmuger. “It’s satisfying adult desires in a season filled with hardware and mindlessness.”

Topper Stacey Snider said she sees the film as less about boxing and more about “second chances and American character,” and that it deserves a top effort from the studio.

But what it gets down to is: Who doesn’t want to see a movie that grabs them? Why think in terms of summer or awards season?” Snider said.

After-party for 2,500 was on the Universal Amphitheater lawn with the crowd including U’s Mary Parent and Donna Langley, producer Penny Marshall, and guest Harvey Weinstein — who said the pic originated at Miramax.

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