The Weinstein Co. has pegged a June 29 rollout for Michael Moore’s Cannes-bound docu “Sicko” and brought in Lionsgate to partner on releasing the documaker’s first pic since “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
Division of labor will see Lionsgate booking theaters on “Sicko” in the U.S. while TWC handles all marketing and publicity duties and puts up all P&A costs.
TWC is also handling international rights and is offering the doc — a critical look at the U.S. health care system — in Cannes after its world preem.
People close to the pic’s domestic partnership said that TWC was attracted to Lionsgate because of Lionsgate’s exclusive pay TV pact with Showtime for docus.
Pact reteams Bob and Harvey Weinstein with Lionsgate three years after the movie-mogul sibs picked the indie studio to help roll out “Fahrenheit 9/11.”
“Lionsgate was very helpful the last time, and this time we’re happy to have them involved again,” Harvey Weinstein said. He added that he sees “Sicko” as a less controversial film than “Fahrenheit.”
“I’ve seen this movie with Republicans and Democrats, and this is one time Michael has sort of unified everyone,” he said. “The health care industry might not have a very good July Fourth.”
Lionsgate’s Tom Ortenberg added that he sees the June 29 date as a prime pick for the docu.
“That will be six weeks from the film’s Cannes presentation for us to open,” he said. “With July 4 coming on a Wednesday, we see that entire week as virtually seven straight Saturdays.”
“Fahrenheit” brought in $222.4 million in worldwide B.O. and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes.
June release date pits “Sicko” against Disney’s computer-animated “Ratatouille” and Fox actioner “Live Free or Die Hard,” as well as specialty fare including Focus drama “Evening” and MGM’s “Death at a Funeral.”