Soderbergh biopic to be released in two parts

Based on early box office returns, IFC Films will continue to play Steven Soderbergh’s two-part biopic “Che” in its entirety, versus releasing the two films — “The Argentine” and “Guerrilla” — separately.

The original plan was to keep the films paired only for a one-week awards run in December in Los Angeles and New York. The returns were good enough, however, for IFC to change its mind.

On Jan. 16, “Che” will play in nine additional markets: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

“A lot of people told me I was crazy to push for a roadshow presentation of ‘Che,’ because American moviegoers aren’t adventurous enough. Fortunately, the results in New York and Los Angeles prove otherwise,” Soderbergh said.

IFC is distributing the Spanish-language film, toplining Benicio Del Toro. So far, “Che” is only planned for Landmark Theaters.

“Che” scored the best weekly grosses of 2008 at Landmark’s Nuart Theater in Los Angeles and the IFC Center in New York. Total gross to date is $244,857.

On Jan. 21, “Che” will be available on cable via IFC In Theaters’ on-demand pay service.

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