Relativity schedules first three releases

'Dark Fields,' 'Kids in America' on 2011 schedule

Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media has dated its first crop of movies, formalizing its evolution from a financing and production company to a mini-major.

Relativity announced Thursday that it, instead of Universal, will distribute “The Dark Fields” and “Kids in America,” following its acquisition of Overture Films’ distribution and marketing operation. Both are Relativity films.

“Kids,” produced by Imagine Entertainment and shot in 2007, opens nationwide on March 4. “Dark Fields,” toplining Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper and Abbie Cornish, opens March 18.

U had been set to open “Kids” on Dec. 3 and “Dark Fields” on Jan. 21.

Relativity also dated martial arts Western “The Warrior’s Way” for Dec. 3, although that is a rent-a-system deal with Emerald City and Sad Flutes.

Earlier this week, Kavanaugh announced that Geoffrey Ammer had stepped down as worldwide prexy of marketing and turned over the reins to Peter Adee, Overture’s prexy of worldwide marketing and distribution.

Last month, Relativity said it was acquiring Overture’s marketing and distribution division from Chris Albrecht’s Starz LLC, which wanted out of the motion picture production biz. Overture’s library, however, remains under the Starz banner.

Relativity is releasing Overture’s three final titles, “Jack Goes Boating” (Sept. 17), “Let Me In” (Oct. 1) and “Stone” (Oct. 8), on behalf of Starz.

Launching a distribution and marketing operation is an expensive proposition. But it gives Relativity more control over the films it finances and produces and allows it to become a third-party distrib.

“We’re thrilled to be adding these two homegrown Relativity titles to our distribution slate and happy to be releasing ‘The Warrior’s Way,'” Kavanaugh said.

Produced by Imagine Entertainment, “Kids” stars Topher Grace, Anna Faris, Dan Fogler, Teresa Palmer, Chris Patt and Michelle Trachtenberg. Michael Dowse directed from a script by Jackie and Jeff Filgo (“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”).

“Kids” follows the intersection of five main characters at an all-night, no-holds-barred party. One of the characters is an MIT graduate who tries to win the girl of his dreams by creating a false identity and becoming the person he thinks she wants. Producers are Kavanaugh and Imagine’s Jim Whitaker and Susan Bowen.

Penned by Leslie Dixon, “Dark Fields” is about a copywriter who discovers a top-secret drug that bestows him with superhuman abilities. As using the drug begins to change his life, he begins to consider its shadowy origins; meanwhile, a group of killers trails his every move.

Producers are Dixon, Scott Kroopf and Kavanaugh.

“Warrior’s Way” stars Korean actor Dong-gun Jang as an Asian assassin forced to hide in a small town in the American badlands. Pic also stars Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush, Danny Houston and Tony Cox.