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Inside Move: ‘Cherry’ heads for USA Nets

Mohr, Murphy star in thriller

The USA Films production “Cherry Falls” is joining the ranks of busted theatricals with a premiere on sister television outlet USA Networks.

Directed by Geoffrey Wright (“Metal Skin”), “Cherry Falls” is a comedic thriller starring Brittany Murphy and Jay Mohr in which a psychopath is bent on killing off all of the virgins in a small-town high school. Ken Selden penned the script; Marshall Persinger and Joyce Schweickert produced the film.

Move represents an increased reluctance on the part of indies and studios alike to put down costly P&A funds on a potentially risky title. MGM recently took “Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her” starring Calista Flockhart and Cameron Diaz off the UA release slate; instead, the pic will premiere on Showtime Networks.

“USA Films and USA Networks enjoy a unique and mutually beneficial relationship and therefore saw an opportunity to maximize the audience potential for ‘Cherry Falls’ with an exclusive premiere on USA Network,” said a USA Films spokesman. “The target audience for ‘Cherry Falls’ is a perfect match with the core audience demographic that USA Network has consistently attracted with its original movies and series. We are confident that USA Network will aggressively and successfully promote the film.”

The Showtime-produced “The House of Mirth” starring Gillian Anderson seemed headed for a similar future when domestic buyers were unwilling to step up to the plate; however, at the last minute Showtime accepted an offer from Sony Pictures Classics. That deal is unlikely to line Showtime pockets, but prevents the perception that Showtime doesn’t put a priority on getting its filmmakers on the bigscreens as well as the small.

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