Vivendi picks up ‘American Carol’

Company to release Zucker comedy in fall

Vivendi Entertainment has picked up North American rights to David Zucker’s new comedy “An American Carol” and will release it in the fall.

Pic tracks a cynical, anti-American filmmaker who sets out on a crusade to abolish the July Fourth holiday. He is visited by three ghosts who try to show him the true meaning of America.

Directed, produced and written by Zucker, known as one of the masterminds of the “Airplane!” and “Naked Gun” franchises, the pic is also produced by Mpower’s Stephen McEveety and John Shepherd.

The cast includes Kevin Farley (“Monk”) as the filmmaker, plus Kelsey Grammer, Leslie Nielsen, Dennis Hopper, James Woods and Jon Voight.

Lewis Friedman and Myrna Sokoloff co-wrote the script.

A wide opening is set for Oct. 3, which is already a crowded date. Miramax’s “Blindness” and Warner Bros.’ “Appaloosa” bow semi-wide, and four other pics open wide: Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” Universal’s “The Express,” Sony’s “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” and MGM’s “How to Lose Friends and Alienate People.”

The spoof biz has remained robust in recent years, with films like “Meet the Spartans” and Dimension’s “Scary Movie” pics enjoying sizable bows.

Vivendi Entertainment, which has been releasing DVDs for many years and has a catalog of 1,000 titles, recently expanded into theatrical. One of its high-profile pics is next spring’s starry anthology “New York, I Love You.”

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