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International Entertainment News

Wednesday, March 14, 2007



Consumers to Receive Up to $15 Million in Free Tickets for Film's Opening Weekend, March 30 - April 1, 2007

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. and MINNEAPOLIS, March 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Best Buy and Universal Pictures will give away up to $15 million in tickets to the March 30 weekend's nationwide theatrical release of Sobini Films' "Peaceful Warrior." The innovative offer was announced today by Adam Fogelson, president of marketing, Universal Pictures, and Jill Hamburger, vice president of entertainment, Best Buy.

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Tickets for the first weekend's showings of the inspirational film adaptation of Dan Millman's perennial best-selling novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, will be given away through a dedicated web portal, From March 18 through April 1, customers who visit Best Buy locations across the United States will receive information on the giveaway, and visitors to will be directed to, where they will be able to obtain up to 10 free tickets. Information for the ticket giveaway will also be available in Best Buy stores and through Best Buy's Reward Zone program.

"We wanted to find a way to give this film -- and films like it -- a real chance to compete in this marketplace," stated Fogelson. "This movie's inspiring and positive message connects powerfully with people, but it simply isn't possible to reduce or market it efficiently or economically in the customary ways. We wanted to allow consumers a chance to sample the film and opted to redirect money from a traditional marketing campaign and instead purchase and provide tickets to moviegoers directly. We marshaled the various disciplines at Universal Pictures, found an enthusiastic partner in Best Buy and secured support from exhibition chains willing to experiment with us."

"We are excited to take part in this innovative effort," said Hamburger. "At Best Buy, we understand the passion our customers have for movies, and we are also strong supporters of the artists and the creative spirit behind the motion picture industry. By providing free tickets to "Peaceful Warrior," we are serving both of these goals and helping expose our customers to a movie that may otherwise not get the attention it deserves."

"We are beyond thrilled that audiences will be given a chance to experience a film that remains a passion project for everyone involved," said Sobini Films' Mark Amin and Cami Winikoff, producers of "Peaceful Warrior." "Universal and Best Buy are trying something completely innovative, and we are so grateful for their dedication to give our film the chance to reach an audience that was otherwise not possible."

Sobini Films' "Peaceful Warrior" will have a wide national release on March 30, 2007, in association with Universal Pictures and Lionsgate. The film is based on the inspirational best-seller Way of the "Peaceful Warrior." The novel and the film chronicle the semi-autobiographical story of author Dan Millman's life-altering relationship with an unlikely mentor whose teachings about spirit over strength profoundly affected not only Millman but also untold readers in the two and a half decades since the book was first published.

The film had a limited release in 2006 through Lionsgate, after which producers Mark Amin and Cami Winikoff brokered a deal between Universal and Lionsgate for this unique second-chance opportunity with Universal's Adam Fogelson, with whom they share a longstanding professional relationship.


Those interested in the giveaway can visit Best Buy locations starting March 18 for information on how to obtain up to 10 free movie theater tickets to the first weekend of "Peaceful Warrior's" wide release on March 30 - April 1. Members of Best Buy's Reward Zone program will get early access to the tickets from March 15 through March 17.

While visiting, customers will be directed to an online ticket request site, where they will be asked to enter their zip code. From there, customers will select a participating theater in their area. After selecting the theater, one or more passes will be generated that will allow up to 10 people to be admitted into that theater.

"This truly is an example of an offer with no strings attached," explained Fogelson. "We simply wanted to provide the opportunity for as many people as possible to see the film for free on its first weekend, with the hope that their word of mouth and enthusiasm might sustain interest for "Peaceful Warrior." We are grateful that Best Buy joined with us in this experiment, and that theater owners also were willing to give this idea a chance to succeed."


A moving tale about the power of the human spirit, "Peaceful Warrior" is based on Dan Millman's perennially best-selling autobiographical novel, Way of the Peaceful Warrior. In the film, Scott Mechlowicz plays Dan, a talented-yet-arrogant college gymnast with Olympic dreams and a golden future. The athlete thinks he has it all: bookcases of trophies, endless friends, fast rides and disposable relationships. But all that is about to change.

One day, Dan's world is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a mysterious stranger he comes to know as Socrates (Nick Nolte) -- a man who holds the power to tap into new worlds of strength and understanding. After he suffers a debilitating injury, with the mystical help of Socrates and an elusive young woman named Joy (Amy Smart), Dan will grow to realize that strength of spirit is what leads a man to his true greatness.

From a screenplay by Kevin Bernhardt, "Peaceful Warrior" is directed by Victor Salva and produced by Mark Amin, Cami Winikoff, Robin Schorr and David Welch.


Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. Our employees strive to provide customers around the world with superior experiences by responding to their unique needs and aspirations. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services through more than 1,150 retail stores across the United States, throughout Canada and in China. Our multi-channel operations include: Best Buy (, and, Future Shop (, Geek Squad ( and, Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (, Magnolia Audio Video ( and Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. ( Best Buy supports the communities in which its employees work and live through volunteerism and grants that benefit children and education.


Sobini Films was formed in early 2001 to independently finance and produce specialized and mainstream theatrical motion pictures. Spearheading the company with Mark Amin is Cami Winikoff, who serves as the company's president. Sobini has the opportunity to finance its own development and packaging of motion pictures. The company maintains a first-look deal with Lionsgate Entertainment, where Amin is vice chairman of the board.


Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric, with 20% controlled by Vivendi Universal.

Photo: NewsCom: AP Archive: PRN Photo Desk, Source: Universal Pictures

CONTACT: Stacy Ivers of Universal Pictures, +1-818-777-7216,; or Brian Lucas of Best Buy, +1-612-291-6131,

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International Entertainment News

Beyonce to Meet With Houston Area Media as Superstar Returns Home for SRO Concert at Reliant Stadium, Thursday, March 15

Beyonce to Meet With Houston Area Media as Superstar Returns Home for SRO Concert at Reliant Stadium, Thursday, March 15

Press Call Scheduled for 12pm, Thursday, March 15, at House of Dereon Media

Center in Houston

Who: Music World/Columbia Records superstar Beyonce What: An exclusive Houston-area media press conference preceding Beyonce's homecoming concert performance at Reliant Stadium Where: House of Dereon Media Center, 1505 Hadley Street (enter via Crawford), Houston TX 77002 When: Thursday, March 15, 12:45pm -- MEDIA CALL: 12pm

International superstar and cultural icon Beyonce is returning home to Houston, Texas, for an SRO performance as part of the 2007 RodeoHouston(TM) concert series ( on Thursday, March 15.

Prior to her Houston performance, Beyonce will hold a rare hometown press conference for Houston-area media at the House of Dereon Media Center (1505 Hadley Street, Houston TX 77002) at 12:45pm on March 15. The Media Call for Beyonce's press conference is 12pm. Parking is available on surrounding streets. After parking, press should enter the House of Dereon Media Center through the gate on Crawford.

Beyonce's RodeoHouston(TM) performance will give her Houston-area fans a peek at the spectacular on-stage shows planned for her upcoming 2007 world tour.

News of Beyonce's Houston press conference follows the recent announcement of the impending release of B'DAY Deluxe Edition, an expanded two-CD edition of the pop icon's best-selling Grammy-winning solo album, on Tuesday, April 3. The original edition of B'Day took home this year's Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album, bringing Beyonce's lifetime Grammy total up to 10 (seven as a solo artist and three won with Destiny's Child). Certified RIAA double platinum in the U.S., B'Day has sold more than 3.5 million copies around the world while peaking at #1 on Billboard's Top 200, Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and U.S. Internet album charts.

Beyonce may currently be seen starring with Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson in the Oscar and Golden Globe winning Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures film "Dreamgirls."

Beyonce became one of the most widely-recognized and highly-respected women in pop culture as a founding member of Destiny's Child, the top-selling female group of all time (according to the 2005 World Music Awards).

For more information, please contact Yvette Noel-Schure, Columbia Records, Media, New York, 212-833-4483; email: Fan club:

PRNewswire -- March 13

Source: Music World/Columbia Records

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