Genre label flowers under Magnolia


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TORONTO -- Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban's Magnolia Pictures is stepping up its game with a new genre label, Magnet.

Magnet's first film out of the gate will be Jeremy Saulnier's comic slasher film "Murder Party," set for a brief theatrical release before an October DVD bow. Among those ready for a 2008 release include Hitoshi Matsumoto's Toronto International Film Festival Midnight Madness selection "Big Man in Japan"; Tony Smith's Viking actioner "Severed Ways"; Ringo Lam, Johnny To and Tsui Hark's Hong Kong action omnibus "Triangle"; Mark Hartley's Australian genre film docu "Not Quite Hollywood"; and Olivier Assayas' thriller "Boarding Gate," starring Asia Argento and Michael Madsen.

Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said that he wanted to brand and label his already extensive slate of well-reviewed genre films, including "The Host" and "District B13."

"These are not trashy genre films. The market has grown up," he added. The slate will include acquisitions, production prebuys and projects produced in-house for theatrical or DVD release.

Wagner already has stated his desire to give Magnolia higher-budgeted projects, and Bowles said some of those likely will go through Magnet, given the strong sales genre titles have garnered on his Magnolia Home Entertainment label.

Said senior vp Tom Quinn, "It's a kick-ass position to be in when you can look to your own company's films and know that these are the movies you'd want to buy for your personal DVD collection."