May 10, 2007–The Weinstein Company has set a June 29 rollout for Michael Moore's Cannes-bound docu “Sicko.” The Weinsteins are bringing in Lionsgate to partner on releasing the documaker's first pic since “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Lionsgate will book theaters on “Sicko” in the U.S. while TWC handles all marketing and publicity duties and puts up all P&A costs.
TWC is also handling international rights and is offering the docu, a critical look at the U.S. health care system, in Cannes after its world premiere.
TWC was attracted to Lionsgate because of Lionsgate's exclusive pay TV pact with Showtime for docus. Pact reteams Bob and Harvey Weinstein with Lionsgate three years after the movie-mogul siblings picked the indie studio to help roll out “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which brought in $222.4 million in worldwide Box-Office and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Lionsgate's Tom Ortenberg sees the June 29 date as a prime pick for the docu. “That will be six weeks from the film's Cannes presentation for us to open,” he said. “With July 4 coming on a Wednesday, we see that entire week as virtually seven straight Saturdays.”
June release date pits “Sicko” against Disney's computer-animated “Ratatouille” and Fox actioner “Live Free or Die Hard,” as well as specialty fare including Focus drama “Evening” and MGM's “Death at a Funeral.”