Duo acquire U.S. rights to action thriller

Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Row 1 Prods. have acquired U.S. rights to John Stockwell’s action thriller “Dark Tide” — with plans for a VOD release of the Halle Berry vehicle more than three weeks before its theatrical launch.

The deal, announced Friday, calls for Lionsgate to release “Tide” first on VOD and EST on March 8, followed by a theatrical release by Wrekin Hill and digital download release on March 30.

Wrekin Hill, which began releasing films last year, said the home entertainment release of “Tide” is part of a 2010 distribution agreement with Lionsgate.

“The star power that Halle Berry brings to ‘Dark Tide’ paired with a genre that hits VOD audiences make it a perfect addition to our Ultra VOD strategy.” said Jim Packer, Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television and Digital Distribution.

Pic’s directed by Stockwell (“Into the Blue”) and penned byAmy Sorlie and Ronnie Christensen and based on a story by Sorlie. Producers are Jeanette Buerling and Matthew Chausse.

Berry portrays a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. She’s haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water.

The deal was negotiated by Chris Ball and Rene Cogan for Wrekin Hill and Brandt Andersen on behalf of Row 1 with Stuart Ford and Jonathan Deckter of IM Global on behalf of the filmmakers.

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