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Universal truths for Morgan Creek

Studio flowing to U, ends WB deal

Ending its longstanding relationship with Warner Bros., Morgan Creek Prods. has inked an exclusive three-year distrib pact with Universal Pictures.

Morgan Creek will continue to produce and finance all of its films, underwriting all costs including P&A. Company had distributed its films with Warners since 1990.

“We’ve been (at Warners) for 13 years, and 13 years in this business is like 50 years in any other business,” said CEO James G. Robinson. “It’s time to move on.”

“We’re very pleased to be in business with Morgan Creek. This arrangement allows us to expand our domestic release schedule,” U chair Stacey Snider said.

Robinson said he expected to add co-financing on U pics to Morgan Creek’s activities. “We anticipate that there are films that Universal will invite us into to co-finance.”

During its 13 years with Warners, turnover at the studio had shuffled out some of the execs closest to Robinson, including former topper Lorenzo di Bonaventura and former homevid head Warren Lieberfarb.

Morgan Creek recently wrapped filming on “Exorcist: The Beginning,” a prequel to the classic horror pic. Warners will release it this spring.

Company is developing the David Ward-scripted “Flying Tigers,” a third installment in its “Ace Ventura” franchise and teen comedy “Babeus Americanus.”

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