‘Smoking’ buddies ink Searchlight pact

Reitman and Dubiecki sign deal for their shingle

The “Thank You for Smoking” team of writer-director Jason Reitman and producer Daniel Dubiecki have inked a two-year first-look deal for their newly formed production shingle, Hard C, at Fox Searchlight.

Searchlight opened “Thank You for Smoking” last weekend in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to a boffo $52,000 per-screen average.

Pic was nabbed at last year’s Toronto Film Fest in a heated bidding war. It is the first feature for Reitman and Dubiecki, who have collaborated on five shorts over the last decade, including Sundance pics “Operation,” “In God We Trust” and “Gulp.”

The duo also direct and produce commercials at Tate USA in Santa Monica for clients such as Heineken, Honda, BMW, GM and Nintendo.

Hard C hopes to be a hub for small, humorous, subversive projects. The shingle will not only be a home base for Reitman and Dubiecki’s projects in development but a launching ground for young comedic filmmakers and actors.

“We have spent so much time at festivals over the years, wondering why the majority of the content is so earnest and melodramatic,” Dubiecki said. “Hopefully, we can add a few movies that, while keeping with the independent spirit, are accessible and funny.”