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Spain’s Wide acquires ‘Valkyrie’

Distributor chases U.S. films for lineup

MADRID — Underscoring its buying ambitions, new Spanish indie distributor Wide Pictures has inked with MGM for all rights to Tom Cruise’s WWII drama “Valkyrie.”

Launched last spring by former Manga Films prexy Luis de Val, Wide has invested initially north of E20 million ($27.3 million), aiming to rapidly consolidate its catalog, often with star-driven U.S. pics.

Pursuing that strategy, Wide has recently purchased three pics from Nu Image/Millennium Films: Nicolas Cage’s prison actioner “Scared Straight,” helmed by John Carpenter; Werner Herzog’s remake of Abel Ferrara’s cult hit “Bad Lieutenant,” also starring Cage, as well as Eva Mendes; and Antoine Fuqua’s “Brooklyn’s Finest,” toplining Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke and Wesley Snipes.

Wide has also tied up two Weinstein Co. titles: Rob Marshall’s musical “Nine,” with Daniel Day-Lewis, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz, and Michael Moore’s docu “Sicko.”

In a very tough Spanish market, damaged by piracy and meager TV sales, the Barcelona-based distributor will travel to next week’s AFM as Spain’s most aggressive indie mainstream buyer.

“The only way to survive today is focusing on big titles that bow in the B.O. top five,” said De Val. “I think these films will achieve that goal.”

Other Wide suppliers include Lakeshore Ent., from which it’s bought Kevin Tancharoen’s “Fame,” a remake of the 1980 Alan Parker-directed drama, and Wild Bunch, which sold it Venice winner “The Wrestler,” helmed by Darren Aronofsky and starring Mickey Rourke.