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Big pics rolling on

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Big films scored in small markets last week while the B.O. drooped in most major territories, suffering from a paucity of compelling new releases. Among the sparse highlights, “The Others” wowed Hong Kong, “American Pie 2” was a riot in Norway and Sweden, and “Moulin Rouge” lit up South Korea.

DeBrino sues over ‘Flatland’

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New York City cop turned producer Robert DeBrino has sued the Ruddy Morgan Organization, claiming it reneged on a producing deal on a television series called “Flatland.” Skein, which stars Dennis Hopper, is currently in production.

James Gang plots pic production slate

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James Gang Pictures, the indie Texas and L.A.-based film production house formed a year ago and headed by president Jim Beresford, chief financial officer Roger Gaskins and producer Dan Montgomery, is gearing up its first slate of pics for production next year.

‘Volunteer’ effort

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Nicolas Cage is attached to topline and produce sci-fi thriller “The Volunteer” for New Line Cinema.
Story concerns an Iowa state trooper who, in an attempt to gain retribution for the death of his daughter, becomes a pawn between two alien races. Pic will be the feature-writing debut of longtime TV scribe Sam Egan (“The Outer Limits”).

W&A raises Brownstein

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Making offers neither side could refuse, veteran talent agent David Brownstein has been promoted to partner at Writers and Artists Agency, ending weeks of pursuit by other percenteries eager for his list of thesps.

Guild taps Miramax alum CFO

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Screen Actors Guild CEO Bob Pisano has tapped veteran studio exec Francesca Hickson as chief financial officer and deputy national exec director for administration, marking his first major appointment.

Review: ‘B.R.M.C.’

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Since the dawning of the Doors and Velvet Underground, there has been a continuous cycle of black-clad, gloomy sounding rock bands. Now it’s a new century, and San Francisco’s B.R.M.C. is carrying on the tradition.