In a departure from its usual arthouse fare, Magnolia Pictures has bought U.S. distrib rights to U.K. horror-comedy “Severance” in a Cannes acquisition.
Magnolia is looking for the sort of success that Lionsgate and genre labels Dimension Films and Rogue Pictures have enjoyed with nail-biters.
This fall, the distrib will test its hand when releasing Korean horror pic “The Host.”
The English-language “Severance” will have wider commercial appeal. Magnolia intends to release that film later this year or early next.
HanWay Films repped international rights to “Severance” during the Cannes market.
Christopher Smith (“Creep”) directed the pic, which stars Danny Dyer and Laura Harris.
Story revolves an international arms dealer who rewards his six-member team with a mountain retreat in Eastern Europe. But their agenda quickly changes when they are attacked by a renegade band of soldiers.
Magnolia prexy Eamonn Bowles said the film is an “entertaining mix of corporate comedy and slasher film.”
“Severance,” which Pathe will release in the U.K. on Aug. 5, was produced by N1 European Film Prods. and presented by Qwerty Films and the U.K. Film Council in association with the Isle of Man Film Commission.
Past titles released by Magnolia –one of Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s media properties — include Anthony Hopkins starrer “The World’s Fastest Indian” and Academy Award-nominated docu “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”
The deal was negotiated by Bowles, head of acquisitions Tom Quinn, head of business and legal affairs Jason Janego with Hanway CEO Tim Haslam and director of sales Alex Walton.