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MGM moves ‘Softly’ to Jan.

Erotic thriller stars Graham, Fiennes

HOLLYWOOD — MGM has slated Chen Kaige’s erotic thriller “Killing Me Softly” for release Jan. 18, the start of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Pic, which stars Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes, had been set to unspool in the fall.

The announcement, made by Robert Levin, MGM president of worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution, said the date represents what is historically one of the highest-grossing box office weekends of the first quarter. The studio plans to release the film on more than 2,000 screens.

“We’re very pleased to have such a strong picture to kick off our slate for 2002,” said Levin. “We believe (Jan. 18) to be the perfect date for the film to reach the widest audience possible.”

MGM is releasing the picture in the United States and Canada, while Myriad Pictures has sole international rights.

“Killing” is the story of a woman captivated by a mysterious stranger and finds herself leaving her fiance to marry him. When secrets surface from his past, she finds herself in a bizarre situation she can’t escape.

The screenplay is by Kara Lindstrom, based on a novel by Nicci French. The film is presented by MGM and the Montecito Picture Co. and was produced by Joe Medjuck, Lynda Myles and Michael Chinich, with executive producers Ivan Reitman, Tom Pollock and Daniel Goldberg.

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