Full-length "Che" extending theatrical run

Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:10am EST

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Moviegoers are getting another chance to cha-cha-cha to the full four-hour-plus version of Steven Soderbergh's "Che."

To qualify for Oscar voting, the Ernesto "Che" Guevara biopic unspooled a week ago for what was planned as one-week-only runs in single venues in New York and Los Angeles. The Benicio Del Toro vehicle was set to withdraw from the marketplace before reappearing January 9 in limited release as two separate films, the Cuba-focused "The Argentine" and Bolivia-based "The Guerrilla."

But IFC Films on Thursday said that last weekend's sellouts have spurred executives to add two weekends of exclusive runs for the full "Che" version of the political epic, starting December 24 in New York and December 26 in Los Angeles.

"We thought 'Che' would have a great deal of interest, but to sell out in Los Angeles and New York City was even beyond our expectations," IFC distribution vp Mark Boxer said.

Meanwhile, theaters that have booked the two-part "Che" installments as separate films have agreed to carry both "Argentine" and "Guerrilla," with exhibitors likely to program them in ways that make viewing both on the same day as convenient as possible, Boxer said.

The films -- each just more than two hours long -- will bow January 9 in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco before expanding to five additional markets the following weekend. By January 23, the pictures are expected to play in more than 50 theaters in the top 25 domestic markets.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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