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‘Farce’ skips theaters

'Penguins' parody to hit homevid in January

The comedic penguins are marching straight to video.

“Farce of the Penguins,” the spoof of the popular Warner Independent Picture docu “March of the Penguins,” won’t be released in theaters, debut instead on homevid at the end of January.

Distributor ThinkFilm announced the project — conceived, written and directed by comedian Bob Saget — last fall, after “March of the Penguins” became the sleeper hit of the summer. At the time, distrib suggested it might be released last spring, when the original was relatively fresh in many filmgoers’ minds.

But the movie fell behind schedule — even now, it’s not entirely done — and ThinkFilm decided to go straight to video.

“Farce,” an adult-oriented, live-action comedy featuring shots of penguins overlaid with Saget’s raunchy bits, includes voiceovers from the likes of Jason Alexander, Dane Cook and Whoopi Goldberg. Samuel Jackson sends up Morgan Freeman’s narration from the original.

Sackman said the company hadn’t polled exhibs about the pic’s prospects on the bigscreen before making the choice for homevideo.

ThinkFilm’s Jeff Sackman said the company considered a holiday DVD release but the movie wasn’t finished in time to prep retailers.

Distributor also hopes that the light homevid sked around the Jan. 30 release date will benefit the movie, as will the fact that it will release ahead of DVDs for other penguin pics.

Warners’ “Happy Feet” hits theaters Nov. 17. Sony’s “Surf’s Up,” an animated feature about surfing penguins, is scheduled for release in the spring.

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