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Sony Pictures Classics Nabs An Education

Photo of Anne Thompson 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.
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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’s drama The Greatest, starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon, Bobcat Goldthwait’s World’s Greatest Dad, starring Robin Williams, and producer-star Ashton Kutcher’s Spread. CAA had hoped to close a deal before fest’s end on September Issue, the popular documentary about Vogue’s Anna Wintour, which several distribs are interested in, including Senator Entertainment, which started off the fest with its acquisition of Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s Finest.

[Originally appeared on Variety.com]

This article is related to: Festivals, Sundance


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.