'Ten' shalt be distributed

5:00 AM PST 08/24/2007 by Gregg Kilday, AP

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Promenade Pictures, the production company founded four years ago by former studio head Frank Yablans with a focus on family entertainment, said Thursday that it will enter U.S. theatrical distribution Oct. 26 by releasing the 3-D CGI-animated feature "The Ten Commandments."

The film is the first in a 12-picture series billed as "Epic Stories From the Bible," which Promenade is producing with New Zealand-based Huhu Studios and Singapore-based iVL Animation as partners. Promenade will market and distribute all of the films theatrically in the U.S. while retaining worldwide rights. Upcoming films in the franchise will be announced in the coming months.

Promenade president and COO Cindy Bond said the company will distribute four to six films a year, a mix of wide releases as well as niche platform titles. It will distribute its own slate of features as well as acquisitions from indie filmmakers working in the $5 million-$20 million range.

"The Ten Commandments," directed by Bill Boyce and John Stronach from a screenplay by Ed Naha, includes the voice talents of Ben Kingsley, who serves as narrator, Christian Slater (Moses), Alfred Molina (Ramses) and Elliott Gould (God).

"Expanding into theatrical distribution is the logical next step for this company as we've stepped up development and production operations over the last year," Bond said. "Our mission from the first day we opened our doors was to produce product that families throughout the world can see and enjoy. We are firmly committed to maintaining Promenade's accelerated growth path and will be adding to our theatrical release schedule in the coming months."
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