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For moviegoers, the just-released A Walk on the Moon offers a 1960s-era romantic comedy with social overtones. And for entertainment lawyers, the brand new film offers nothing less than a peek into an equally new era of motion picture lawyering.

But what exactly is so novel — legally speaking — about a picture produced by veteran box-office star Dustin Hoffman and distributed by Disney-owned Miramax, whose movies keep bringing home Oscars? It’s the money, honey. Hoffman’s Punch Productions teamed with an outfit called Village Roadshow Productions to make the independent movie. Aided by an infusion of the actor’s money, A Walk on the Moon premiered this year at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. Miramax snapped it up and financed its distribution. And with that, voila! The box-office bucks are now rolling in.

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