U eats its veggies

VeggieTales pic a bigscreen berth

Universal Pictures has nabbed distrib rights to Big Idea’s toon “The Prirates Who Don’t Do Anything — A VeggieTales Movie.” U plans to release the pic theatrically in North America in 2008, making it the second VeggieTales property to hit the bigscreen.

Pact for “Pirates” covers worldwide theatrical and homevid rights, though U’s distrib plans have not been finalized in all territories.

Big Idea’s first theatrical release, “Jonah — A VeggieTales Movie,” grossed a surprising $25.6 million in the U.S. in 2002. That pic went out through Artisan

The “VeggieTales” toon franchise, which has a Christian bent, has otherwise thrived on homevid, with various titles moving nearly 50 million units.

“Jonah’s” success in theaters was one of the first instances before “The Passion of the Christ” in which the industry saw church groups help drive box office sales.

“Pirates,” which will be helmed by Mike Nawrocki, penned by Phil Vischer and produced by Big Idea’s David Pitts, puts familiar characters from the series in a pirate adventure.

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