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NewStar buys overseas rights for 1st telepic deal

Biz aims to be a supplier of event TV movies

NEW YORK — In its first deal to acquire telefilms, NewStar Media has bought the overseas rights to five pics to be produced by Showtime and Flashpoint Ltd.

The five projects have an estimated budget of $25 million ($4 million-$5.5 million per movie).

Four will be Rated X: the story of porn kings the Mitchell brothers; “Possessed,” based on the true tale of a 14-year-old boy exorcised by Jesuit priests in 1949; “Madame Bovary,” an adaptation of the classic novel; and “In the Time of Butterflies,” a film about three sisters who help bring down the Trujillo regime in the Dominican Republic.

The fifth movie in the deal has not yet been set.

Deal under wraps

Terms of the deal have not been released but Gene George, vice president, sales/acquisitions for NewStar Worldwide, said the investment was quite significant for a company of NewStar’s size.

The publicly traded NewStar had a market capitalization of $33.6 million at Wednesday’s market close.

Previously, NewStar only distributed its own productions, such as the $8.5 million “Futuresport,” which aired on ABC. This year George got the go-ahead to acquire telefilms from outside producers.

“This company’s strategy and goal is to be a supplier of event TV movies,” George said. “This deal says something about our aggressiveness in the market.”

George said NewStar will pursue theatrical distribution in some countries for the Showtime-Flashpoint films, as well as selling the movies via homevideo and television.