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Launchpad’s taking off

'America' first up for new Kaplan, Daniel distrib unit

NEW YORK — Rainstorm Entertainment co-founders Steven Kaplan and Gregg Daniel are launching a distribution unit, Launchpad Releasing.

First pic for the company will be “Kids in America,” whose ensemble cast includes Gregory Smith, Nicole Richie, Julie Bowen, Stephanie Sherrin, Caitlyn Wachs, Samantha Mathis, Elizabeth Perkins, Rosanna Arquette and Adam Arkin.

The film will roll out in 700 theaters Friday.

Teen pic follows a young rebel who leads a band of high school students in a battle against their tough new principal (Bowen). Richie plays the leader of a group of snooty cheerleaders.

Kaplan will serve as prexy of the venture, with Daniel as exec veep. Marty Zeidman of Slowhand Cinema Releasing is collaborating on the release.

Launchpad is aiming to release its pics on between 200 and 1,000 screens.

“Ultimately, we love cool, original movies and we want to get them before an audience,” Kaplan said. “In addition, we have the goal to release just four to six films per year, giving us the luxury to focus on each one individually,” he added.

“Every film we release is our top priority,” Daniel said. “We look at each film and create a marketing plan that plays to the film’s strengths and then augment that plan with creative alternatives to raise as much visibility as possible at an economically viable cost.”

Rainstorm’s most recent production credit is “F*CK,” a docu by Steve Anderson that explores the use of the “f-word” in pop culture. Pic world preems at AFI Fest on Nov. 7.

Rainstorm’s previous credits include “Terror Tract” and “The Big Empty.”

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