The reinvigorated Paramount under Viacom co-prexy/co-chief operating officer Tom Freston and newly installed Paramount Motion Picture Group chairman-CEO Brad Grey made its presence known in no uncertain terms at Sundance this weekend, ponying up $16 million in a multipic deal to acquire John Singleton's urban pic Hustle & Flow.

The deal included a $9 million acquisition price for the pic, plus a commitment from Par to finance two more unspecified movies budgeted at around $3.5 million each that Singleton will produce.

"Hustle" follows a Memphis pimp facing a midlife crisis who's determined to become a rapper. Tyro helmer Craig Brewer wrote and directed "Hustle," which stars Terrence Howard, Taryn Manning, Anthony Anderson, DJ Qualls and rapper Ludacris.

Brian B.