Bing does his thing at Sony

Financier's shingle shifting

Multimillionaire film financier Steve Bing is in talks with Sony to form an exclusive distribution deal with the studio, Sony confirmed Monday.

Bing’s Shangri-La Entertainment had a distribution arrangement with Warner Bros. since 2002, but it recently expired.

Under the new pact, Sony would distrib Bing’s personally financed films worldwide in all media.

First pic to be distribbed under the deal is expected to be an as-yet-untitled comedy written, directed and starring Albert Brooks. It is tentatively skedded for a 2006 release.

Sony vice chairman Jeff Blake said the two companies also would be exploring co-financing opportunities.

Bing stunned the industry by investing $80 million in Warner’s CGI holiday pic “The Polar Express,” which has gone on to gross more than $250 million worldwide, but did not initially live up to expectations for the pricey movie.

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While Bing’s bling and Sony’s strong marketing arm make for a mighty combo, Bing’s film portfolio is less impressive than his wallet.

Films such as “The Big Bounce” and “Night at the Golden Eagle” did not exactly rock the box office. Aside from “Polar Express,” his biggest hit to date is “Kangaroo Jack,” a film he wrote and Jerry Bruckheimer produced. That pic grossed $66 million domestically in 2003.