New Line Cinema and HBO Films are about to strike a deal to acquire Newmarket Films, which they plan to absorb into indie division Fine Line. Newmarket president Bob Berney is expected to stay on board to lead the combined entity, which has yet to be renamed. The future of Fine Line's current staff is, at this point, unclear. Berney has had phenomenal success (at Newmarket, and first at IFC Films) distributing difficult-to-market pictures - My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Monster, The Passion of the Christ - that no one else knew what to do with. Fine Line, meanwhile, has been making a lot of critically acclaimed films of late - The Sea Inside, Vera Drake - but these pics have struggled at the box office. One imagines that Berney's presence is, thus, the key to the sale. More on this story as it develops.