By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 21, 2009 at 2:39AM
Sony Pictures Classics has acquired North American and Latin American rights for $3 million to Lone Scherfig's An Education after a heated bidding war. The deal closed Monday night.
Fox Searchlight tried to grab the film with an early preemptive bid, but the offer in the $1 million-$2 million range was deemed too low by sellers CAA and Endgame Entertainment, which financed the $12-million 60s romance with BBC Films. Written by Nick Hornby from Lynn Barber's memoir, An Education stars Sundance "It Girl" Carey Mulligan as a 16-year-old schoolgirl who falls hard for a charming older man played by Peter Sarsgaard.
Fox Searchlight came back into the negotiation on a second round but was unable to close. Instead, on Monday night the company acquired Adam, starring Rose Byrne and Hugh Dancy. Also bidding on An Education were The Weinstein Co., Focus Features, Lionsgate and Overture. SPC, which closed recent deals out of Toronto with Endgame CEO Jim Stern on Easy Virtue and his documentary Every Little Step, will launch the film in the fall with an eye on an awards campaign.
Sundance buyers are also circling Shana Feste‚Äôs drama The Greatest, starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, Bobcat Goldthwait‚Äôs World‚Äôs Greatest Dad, starring Robin Williams, and producer-star Ashton Kutcher‚Äôs Spread. CAA had hoped to close a deal before fest‚Äôs end on September Issue, the popular documentary about Vogue‚Äôs Anna Wintour, which several distribs are interested in, including Senator Entertainment, which started off the fest with its acquisition of Antoine Fuqua‚Äôs Brooklyn‚Äôs Finest.
[Originally appeared on Variety.com]