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Lucky Red buys ‘Rush Hour 3’

Arthouse distrib moves mainstream

VENICE — New Line has sold all Italian rights to “Rush Hour 3” to Lucky Red, in a further indication the former arthouse player is entering mainstream distribution.

The expanding Rome shingle, headed by Andrea Occhipinti, won the bidding war for helmer Brett Ratner’s hit Jackie Chan actioner just one week after closing a two-pic deal with the Weinstein Co. for chillers “1408” and “Halloween,” its first multiplex product.

“Rush Hour 3” is by far the most commercial title handled by Lucky Red during its 20 years. Acquisition, for an undisclosed sum said to be in the $5 million-$7 million range, is Occhipinti’s first deal with New Line.

“Rush Hour 3” has scored north of $110 million Stateside to date, while pulling more than $12 million in Blighty and $7 million in Germany.

Lucky Red, which currently has Cannes Palme d’Or winner “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days” on release, will release “Rush Hour” on 250 in Italy Oct. 5.

At the Venice fest, the former strictly arthouse boutique has hot Gallic competish title “La Grain et le mulet” by Abdellatif Kechiche (“L’Esquive”).

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