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Sony picked up U.S. distribution rights for Planet 51

Variety reports that Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group will distribute Planet 51 in the United States on November 20, 2009. The alien adventure comedy centers on an astronaut who lands on Planet 51 thinking he’s the first to set foot on it. To his surprise, he discovers it’s inhabited by little green people who live in a white picket-fenced world reminiscent of 1950s America. The film is produced by Ilion Animation Studios. New Line previously bought domestic distribution rights for the $50 million plus-budgeted film and had touted it as it as its first-ever CG-animated feature. After New Line was folded into Warner Bros. in February, Planet 51 became the domain of Warners and was set to be released by the studio in summer 2009. Warners’ decision to let the film go is odd given that the studio has only three films slotted for next summer. “We could not ask for a more ideal partner,” said Guy Collins, chairman of HandMade Films Intl. “Sony is perfectly positioned to maximize the film’s box office potential.”

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