‘Bee’ spills beans

Coffee giant creates buzz on 'Bee'

Starbucks’ frosh foray into the movie biz began Thursday when “Akeelah and the Bee” preemed at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

The java powerhouse was a major marketing partner on the film, and Lionsgate prexy Mike Paseornek said the company’s input “validates this as a mainstream movie.”

“This could have been just a small, urban family film,” Lionsgate topper Jon Feltheimer said. “But we wanted to make it a true crossover movie, and Starbucks was the obvious and perfect partner.”

Producer Nancy Hult Ganis said the coffee company is interested in films with “ideas and purpose,” which dovetailed with the pic’s notion of “changing the world one word at a time.”

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