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Col pic pact pulls a 360

Studio inks with Mancuso over genre pics

Columbia Pictures has signed a production deal with Frank Mancuso Jr. and Tom Gores’ 360 Pictures to acquire and distribute genre films both theatrically and for the direct-to-video market.

The first product of the pact will be “Crossover,” a coming-of-age drama about two talented basketball players with different life ambitions. Written and directed by Preston A. Whitmore II, pic stars Anthony Mackie and Wesley Jonathan. It will be released theatrically on Aug. 25 under Sony’s TriStar label.

Sony Pictures will secure North American home entertainment and theatrical rights to all the 360 Pictures projects it acquires.

Mancuso’s producing credits include several “Friday the 13th” pics, as well as films such as “Internal Affairs,” “He Said, She Said,” “Ronin” and “Species.”

Gores is a financier who has provided financial backing to several film ventures, including 360 Pictures and Crescent Drive Entertainment, which financed the upcoming “The Lost City.” He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity, a global buyout firm headquartered in Los Angeles.

360 Pictures was formed last year to produce and market youth-oriented action/adventure pics with production budgets capped at $15 million.