‘Street Kings’ premieres

David Ayer's crime drama opens in L.A.

One sign that “Street Kings” is a stretch for Fox Searchlight, a label usually more comfortable in “Juno” territory, is that even Cedric the Entertainer gets shot in the bloody cop thriller.

At Thursday’s Chinese Theater preem, Searchlight topper Peter Rice said the pic harkens back to early ’50s Fox films such as “Pickup on South Street” and “Where the Sidewalk Ends” and the genre of “rough, tough crime drama.”

Marketing topper Nancy Utley said the pic was a departure for the specialty house, and while execs thought the film would appeal to a young, urban aud, “It plays wider than that — it’s super-sized Searchlight.”

At the Element after-party, helmer David Ayer praised Searchlight for letting him make the film he wanted (“It’s where a kid can be a kid”) and said that in its own way, the movie fit the company’s profile: “It’s made for a price. It’s based on the work of a famous author. It’s performance driven. You check the boxes, and it’s a Searchlight movie.”

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