Shochiko lights up Scott’s ‘Fire’

Japanese rights sold to Washington-starrer

In one of the biggest single-pic deals signed in Cannes, Shochiku snapped up theatrical and homevideo rights in Japan to the New Regency/Fox 2000 production “Man on Fire.”

Currently lensing in Mexico, Tony Scott-helmed pic stars Denzel Washington. Pic, reportedly budgeted at north of $80 million, also features Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning and Radha Mitchell.

Deal was confirmed Thursday by Summit Entertainment prexy Patrick Wachsberger, who noted Fox/New Regency retain TV rights in Japan.

Purchase price wasn’t disclosed but Japanese majors typically pay 10%-12% of production budgets for all rights.

Earlier in the market Summit sold the Fox/New Regency pic “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” toplining Brad Pitt and Nicole Kidman, to Shochiku’s rival Toho-Towa.

“We felt it would be politically correct to sell ‘Man on Fire’ to Shochiku,” Wachsberger says.

Enhancing “Fire’s” appeal in Japan is the presence of Fanning, whose “I Am Sam” was a huge hit in that territory.

Shochiku also acquired the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer “The Aviator” from IEG and Korean actioner “Tube” from Tube Entertainment.

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