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SXSW round-up: "Veronica Mars" red carpet, March 14 theater and home tv premiere

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On the afternoon of March 8 at Austin's South by Southwest film festival, creator Rob Thomas and his cast attended the world premiere of the "Veronica Mars' movie at the Paramount Theatre. Led by the radiant Kristen Bell, the stars of the hit television series all showed up to watch the film for the first time on the big screen alongside hundreds of SXSW participants. After the screening, cast members Bell along with Enrico Colantoni, Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III and Francis Capra joined Thomas on stage for questions-and-answers. A second premiere for backers of the film's record-breaking Kickstarter campaign was also held later that evening at a cinema 30 minutes north of the city.

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Now it's your turn to catch the flick. In a unique marketing scheme, the movie opens today in 270 theaters nationwide, while simultaneously also being released to buy or rent online, through Amazon or iTunes or other portals. In doing so, "Veronica Mars" works around the traditional model of a theatrical "window" — a period of time when a movie is available only in theaters. For the major studios, that "window" is typically an average of four months between a movie’s theatrical release and its home-video release. According to Variety, one of the reasons behind the unique opening was to make it an event for the show’s fans, some 90,000 of whom donated money via the crowd-funding website Kickstarter.

The 110-minute film catches up with zany Mars, now a law school graduate, as she returns to hometown of Neptune, to help clear the name of her ex-boyfriend Logan (Dohring) after he's suspected of killing his pop starlet girlfriend. Thomas's first book in the series, "Veronica Mars: An Original Mystery by Rob Thomas," is currently set for a March 24 publication date. The book will pick up after the events of the movie.

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