CBS Films sets ‘Salmon Fishing’ release

Lasse Hallstrom rom-com unspools March 2

CBS Films has set March 2 for a limited opening of Lasse Hallstrom’s romantic comedy “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”

Wide openings for Paramount’s “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” Lionsgate’s “Safe,” Universal’s “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” and Warner comedy “Project X” have already been set for March 2. Limited releases include Paramount Vantage’s “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” and Magnolia’s “Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie.”

The distributor paid an estimated $5 million for domestic rights last month at the Toronto Film Festival, where Summit was also active in the bidding for “Salmon Fishing.” The drama, starring Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Kristin Scott Thomas and Amr Waked, was one of the higher-profile titles for sale during the festival.

Lionsgate U.K. produced alongside BBC Films and Paul Webster at Kudos Pictures and began selling foreign territories during last year’s Cannes market. Exec producers are Jamie Laurenson, Stephen Garrett, Paula Jalfon, Zygi Kamasa and Guy Avshalom.

“Slumdog Millionaire” scribe Simon Beaufoy penned “Fishing,” which follows an ordinary Englishman’s path of self-discovery as he becomes involved in a project that makes Yemen a new home for salmon. Script’s based on the book by Paul Torday.

CBS Films signaled that it was looking to amp up its acquisitions biz in July when it tapped veteran Sony exec Scott Shooman as exec VP of acquisitions.CBS Films entered the distribution business last year, and its acquisition “The Mechanic” generated $30 million in domestic grosses. Acquisitions slated for release in 2012 include “The Woman in Black,” starring Daniel Radcliffe, and “Gambit” starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz and Alan Rickman.

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