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S’dance plans pic expansion

Duo to evaluate word of mouth, response afterwards

NEW YORK — Sundance Channel and Loews Entertainment have pacted with Newmarket Films to theatrically expand the four titles in its Sundance Film Series.

Pics in the series are slotted to open day-and-date in Loews theaters in 10 markets across the country. Each film is skedded for a two-week run.

Where appropriate, Newmarket will work with series partners Sundance Channel and Loews to expand the releases from development to execution, including booking and publicity. Decision to expand will be made on a case-by-case basis, depending on performances of each pic.

Sundance Film Series kicks off today with the release of “The Other Side of the Bed.” Musical comedy by Emilio Martinez-Lazaro was the top-grossing film in Spain in 2002.

“We brought them in now to develop a strategy, should we decide to take a film into a wide release,” said Kirk Iwanowski, channel’s senior VP of marketing. “It’s something we would rather not leave to the last minute.”

Evaluating success

Iwanowski said a conversation would take place at the end of the weekend to evaluate first pic’s performance, including word of mouth and critical responses.

“We’ll keep track and see how it’s catching fire at all the levels,” he said.

Headed up by Bob Berney, Newmarket distributed surprise successes “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Memento.” Last year HBO Films brought Newmarket in to launch the theatrical release of “Real Women Have Curves.”

“Bob Berney has a fantastic track record,” said Iwanowski. “The fit was really right for Sundance and Loews from day one.”

Upcoming series titles are “In This World” (Sept. 19), “Dopamine” (Oct. 10) and “Die Mommie Die (Oct. 31).