Weinstein Co., IFC sheepish


Killer sheep soon will be rampaging across big and small screens via the Weinstein Co. and IFC Entertainment, which have nabbed all U.S. and Canadian rights to the horror comedy "Black Sheep."

IFC's First Take program will shepherd the sheep simultaneously into theaters and onto video-on-demand in mid-2007, while the Weinstein Co.'s Genius Products will handle the DVD release. The filmmakers hope to maximize the film's theatrical life with a wide window between the First Take and DVD release, but no dates have been set.

Foreign territories also have been sold, including the U.K. to Icon, Australia and New Zealand to Australasia, Spain to Manga Films, Brazil to Focus Filmes, Malaysia and Singapore to Ram Indo, Indonesia to PT Parkit Films, Benelux to Dutch Filmworks and the Middle East to Prime Pictures.

Writer-director Jonathan King's tale of a genetic engineering experiment gone wrong on a New Zealand farm was the talk of September's Toronto International Film Festival at its premiere, but several interested buyers balked at the initial asking price (said by some execs to be $1 million) for a film in the horror-comedy genre.

As late as last week, Lionsgate was in talks for a deal that ultimately didn't happen, paving the way for a Weinstein/IFC sale.

The Weinstein Co. purchased the rights from the New Zealand Film Commission. Cinetic Media represented the filmmakers in the sale. Michelle Krumm, executive vp acquisitions, brought the project to the Weinstein Co. Genna Terrenova, vp acquisitions, and Eileen Rodriguez, director of acquisitions, negotiated the deal on behalf of the Weinstein Co. Kathleen Drumm, head of sales and marketing, negotiated on behalf of the New Zealand Film Commission. Arianna Bocco negotiated on behalf of IFC.