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Henson, Lion prime plans for pic pact

'Good Boy!' duo deepens relationship, preps sequel

A correction was made to this article on Apr. 22, 2004.

The Jim Henson Co. has inked a two-year first-look deal with MGM to produce live-action films.

Pact comes after Henson and the Lion co-produced last year’s hit family laffer “Good Boy!” Jim Henson Pictures is developing a sequel to the $18 million-budgeted pic, which generated $38 million at the domestic B.O.

Deal makes Henson a major supplier of family-friendly content for MGM, but the pact does not include the Muppets or “Bear in the Big Blue House” characters, which Disney acquired from Henson in February.

“We’re incredibly pleased with the way that film (“Good Boy!”) was received by audiences of all ages,” said Chris McGurk, vice chairman and chief operating officer of MGM. “We look forward to creating more great family entertainment together.”

Kristine Belson heads up Jim Henson Pictures, based in Los Angeles.

Company’s live-action projects, including “Muppets in Space,” “Elmo in Grouchland,” “Buddy” and work on “Babe” through its Jim Henson Creature Shop, are known for employing puppetry, animatronics and computer graphics, and target the family market.

Jim Henson Pictures is in production on “Five Children and It,” a co-production with Endgame and the U.K.’s Capitol Films. It also recently completed fantasy pic “MirrorMask,” which Sony Pictures is readying for release.

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