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New Line unveils ‘Hairspray’

Company also touts 'Golden Compass'

CANNES — New Line took the top off of “Hairspray” Sunday with a packed-out screening for 200 buyers. The only two major territories still unsold are Italy and Japan, both of which topper Rolf Mittweg said will likely be done by market’s end.

In most other major territories New Line has output deals, so all product already knows where it will wind up. Most sales business in Cannes is with Far Eastern and Latin American buyers and the prexy-COO of worldwide distribution & marketing said the market seemed fairly buoyant to him.

Biggest change over the 30-odd years Mittweg’s been doing this is the proliferation of sales companies but the relative stable number of foreign buyers and distributors.

The company is also using Cannes to launch its marketing campaign for its major winter release “The Golden Compass.”

“We’re showing our buyers the first teaser trailer — it’s our first visual — which will go out in American cinemas with ‘Pirates’ on May 25,” said New Line Intl. prexy Camela Galano. She said the trailer would also be available in many foreign territories.

Pic opens Dec. 7 Stateside and will go day-and-date in most major territories.

“In my view fantasy-action-adventure is the most desired product in the international marketplace,” Mittweg said.

The source material for “Compass” (the British tome “His Dark Materials”) is, however, much less well-known than the Tolkien books that inspired “The Lord of the Rings.”

“Compass” is clearly the most ambitious project the company has taken on since “LOTR.” Scripts for the second and third installments of the franchise are already in the works.

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