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TWC high on Cheech & Chong

Studio nabs rights to 'Concert Movie'

Cheech and Chong, whose budget-friendly stoner pics a generation ago created a comedy paradigm in the movie biz, are reuniting in a Weinstein Co. concert film.

TWC took worldwide theatrical, homevid, digital and TV rights, pacting with Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong and the duo’s managers, Ben Feigin and Josh Klein.

“The Cheech and Chong Concert Movie” will lense in March during a San Antonio stop on the “Light Up America” tour, which kicked off Sept. 26. Tour, their first together in at least 25 years, will continue well into 2009.

The concert pic is not likely to derive most of its coin from theaters, a change from the days of “Up in Smoke” and “Next Movie.” Rather, a TV bow followed by a DVD is the preferred route, TWC said. Foreign sales began at AFM.

Grosses of the Cheech and Chong pics in the late 1970s and early ’80s ranged from $20 million to $40 million, far exceeding their costs.

Feigin said the tour has already grossed in eight figures, and a licensing deal has netted roughly $9 per concertgoer.

At the Aspen Comedy Fest in 2005, the pair reunited onstage, but that appearance involved none of their original material and was more of a Q&A session. The notion of a reunion had been bandied about long before then.

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