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You Say You Want Revolution?

Veteran programming executives Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein are teaming up to distribute films from Revolution Studios in a deal that extends through 2006.

The domestic distribution agreement, covering syndication, network TV and some basic cable, includes 27 films produced through December 2004, and future titles through December 2006.

There are some big-ticket titles in the package, including Blackhawk Down, XXX, Maid in Manhattan, Anger Management, Daddy Day Care, 13 Going on 30, White Chicks, The Forgotten, Mona Lisa Smile, and the current Christmas With The Kranks.

The first 27 films will be featured in Revolution 1, with a second package planned for 18 months from now or whenever Revolution has released another 20 or so films.

Their respective companies--Marcus' Debmar Studios and Bernstein's Mercury Entertainment--already jointly hold the syndication rights to Comedy Central hit South Park and Sci Fi Channel action hour, Farscape. The film package gives the budding independent a sitcom, hour drama and movie offering, all targeted for a fall 2005 debut.

The two plan to combine operations by then, since that is essentially when their business will launch, but they are still working on a name for the new company--"Debmarcury" is probably a nonstarter.

The pair will be selling the movie package at the NATPE convention in January. South Park is already cleared in 90% of the country and Farscape in about 50%, says Marcus.

Revolution Studios was formed in 2000 by Joe Roth to independently produce  films with Sony Pictures, Starz Encore Group and Fox Entertainment Group.

The new deal with Marcus and Bernstein is outside an existing output deal Revolution has with Fox Broadcasting.