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‘Chicago’ encore

Re-release with new scene to pump DVD

Miramax, which earlier this year said it would re-release “Confessions of a Dangerous Minds” in August, now plans to return Oscar best pic “Chicago” to theaters in July.

In both cases, theatrical re-releases will serve to hype a release of the pic in homevid the next month.

The “Chicago” run will feature a new version of the movie that includes an additional song-and-dance number cut from the original theatrical release. Homevid version of the awards-laden musical, which hits retail shelves Aug. 19, also will feature the additional scene.

Miramax refused to confirm any of the re-release plans. But a well-placed source said distrib was close to locking in on a July 18 slotting for the re-release.

No details were available on playdate plans, but it’s likely the run will include a limited number of venues. Anything more than 600 theaters would rep a wide release but that could prove too ambitious even for a winner like “Chicago” in the busy summer season.

“Confessions,” which did less than $16 million in its first domestic run, is hoping to line up at least 1,000 playdates for its Aug. 1 return (Daily Variety, April 4), though it’s unclear how many showtimes will be offered in individual venues. Also, the gambit hinges on a premise that pic never found its true audience the first time around, something no one would claim about “Chicago.”

Distrib claims George Clooney-helmed Sam Rockwell laffer could have done better had “Confessions” not been released amid a busy box office market last January. But its new date has quirky Chuck Barris biopic going up against wide openers including Universal’s presumed B.O. behemoth “American Wedding.”

Re-release precedents

Still, the Miramax re-releases aren’t wholly unprecedented.

Distrib re-released “Spy Kids,” a $100 million grosser, the same summer following its original March bow and boosted overall cume to $112 million. In 1997, Miramax went after spring-break teens by re-expanding December sleeper “Scream” into wide release and boosting pic’s cume to $103 million from $87 million.

And Disney’s “The Lion King,” originally unspooled in June 1994 to a boffo $267 million reception, was again embraced by auds after a November re-release the same year that bolstered family toon’s total domestic B.O. to $312 million.

“Chicago” has rung up $168.6 million domestically and about $470 million in worldwide B.O. There are no plans to re-release pic in international territories where it’s already unspooled, but “Chicago” is still hoofing it in later-bowing markets including Japan.

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