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Fox, MTV, Par play with ‘Dynamite’

Studios to share proceeds equally

Fox Searchlight Pictures has announced a deal for MTV Films and Paramount Pictures to market and distribute the “Napoleon Dynamite” internationally.

Opening in select cities June 11 and platforming through the end of July, Fox Searchlight will distribute the film in the U.S. and Canada. The studios will share proceeds equally from the territories in which they distribute the film.

Pic was originally acquired by Searchlight for low-seven figures after its successful bow at Sundance this year.

In an interview with Daily Variety, Searchlight topper Peter Rice explained the attraction to MTV came from the brand’s global youth culture reach.

“They have access to audiences that will love ‘Napoleon’ if we can get it to them, and with MTV international, we can,” Rice said

Deal is only the second of its kind for Searchlight, and a first for MTV Films, which until now had never gone outside Viacom to distrib or market films. Searchlight recently split Zack Braff’s “Garden State” with Miramax Films.

Pic recently took the feature film award at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, and marks the directorial debut of then-24-year-old Jared Hess, who wrote the film with his wife Jerusha Hess, an undergraduate student at Brigham Young U. Pic was shot in Hess’ hometown of Preston, Idaho, using an amalgam of experienced and first-time actors.