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Sundance Deal Tally: Who's Bought What? (Score Card UPDATED)

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by Anne Thompson and Beth Hanna
February 5, 2014 1:57 PM
4 Comments
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Camp X-Ray
"Laggies"
"Laggies"

UPDATED: We continue to add to our ongoing deal tally out of Sundance (which wrapped January 26). While the buys haven't been high-end, they've been steady. So, who's bought what? A breakdown of companies and numbers of buys, below.

Sony Pictures Classics (4 buys): The latest SPC grab of the Sundance Film Festival is "Infinitely Polar Bear," starring Mark Ruffalo as an eccentric mess of a father in the 1970s. SPC also snapped up worldwide rights to fest opener and prize-winner "Whiplash," starring Miles Teller as a talented drummer driven to near insanity by a cruel music academy teacher (J.K. Simmons). SPC secured various rights to Ira Sachs' "Love is Strange," starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as an aging gay couple in New York who get married --with unfortunate consequences. And they also nabbed worldwide rights to Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz’s Iceland road trip buddy comedy "Land Ho!," which takes two retirees and ex-in-laws on a vacation adventure to Iceland, from the clubs of Reykjavik to spas and hikes to waterfalls and geysers. Gorgeously shot and shaped by Stephens and Katz, the movie stars Paul Eenhoorn ("This is Martin Bonner") and hilarious newcomer Earl Lynn Nelson. 
'Land Ho!'
'Land Ho!'

Lionsgate (3 buys): They grabbed horror fave "Cooties," from star Elijah Wood's Spectrevision company specializing in genre fare. With sister company Roadside, they're also partnering to take rights to crowdpleasing competition title "The Skeleton Twins," starring Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader as estranged adult siblings grappling with their demons while getting reacquainted with one another. With CNN, they picked up moving and provocative doc "Dinosaur 13," on the discovery and seizure of the most complete T. Rex skeleton in history.

IFC Films (4 buys):  IFC acquired earnest Kristen Stewart drama "Camp X-Ray," which earned mixed reviews at the fest. IFC Midnight acquired U.S. and Latin American rights to Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent's psychological horror film "The Babadook," starring Essie Davis as a single mother who must cope not only with her troubled son but a shadowy monster in their home. Entertainment One Films International (eOne) is handling international rights. IFC also picked up John Slattery's woeful comedic misfire "God's Pocket" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro as small-town folks caught up in the aftermath of a construction site murder cover-up. They also have horror director Jim Mickle's "Cold in July," starring Michael C. Hall as a Texas man who kills a home intruder--and then deals with the consequences.

'I Origins'
'I Origins'

A24 (3 buys): The "Spring Breakers" young distrib usually goes edgy, and scooped up Gillian Robespierre's rom-com "Obvious Child," starring Jenny Slate as a stand-up comedian who gets an abortion. They also nabbed Lynn Shelton's "Laggies," starring Keira Knightley as a young woman who befriends a group of teen girls (including Chloe Grace Moretz) as she decides what to do about her longtime boyfriend -- who's just proposed, to her dismay. And A24 partnered with DirecTV on Aubrey Plaza zombie comedy "Life After Beth."

Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass in 'The One I Love'
Photo by Doug Emmett Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass in 'The One I Love'

Magnolia (3 buys): Along with Paramount, they snapped up Joe Swanberg's lovely family dysfunction comedy "Happy Christmas," pre-fest. Magnolia also picked up polarizing offbeat comedy "Frank," starring Michael Fassbender in a mask--a waste. Magnolia also picked up Steve James' heart-tugging Roger Ebert doc "Life Itself," set to hit theaters this summer followed by an exclusive broadcast on CNN later this year.

Jenny Slate in 'Obvious Child'
Jenny Slate in 'Obvious Child'

Fox Searchlight (2 buys): Early on they snapped up Mike Cahill's heady sci-fi Sloan prize winner "I, Origins," starring Michael Pitt and "Another Earth" star Brit Marling--with whom they have worked three times--and John Michael McDonagh's well-reviewed black comedy "Calvary," starring his "The Guard" lead Brendan Gleeson and son Domhnall.

RADiUS TWC (2 buys): They scooped up Charlie McDowell's "The One I Love," starring Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass as an unhappily married couple who try to rekindle their spark at a secluded vacation home recommended by their couples therapist. But a weekend getaway turns into something much stranger -- and more sci-fi oriented -- when they begin to understand what the vacation house has in store. The company also nabbed documentary "Fed Up."

'Wish I Was Here'
'Wish I Was Here'

Focus Features (1 buy): The new management team led by Peter Schlessel grabbed Zach Braff's controversially Kickstarted "Garden State" follow-up "Wish I Was Here," a comedy starring Braff, Kate Hudson and Josh Gad.

Gravitas Ventures (1 buy): Following a warmly received Sundance premiere, writer/director Michael Tully's "Ping Pong Summerlanded a distribution deal with Gravitas, which will take the film out theatrically and digitally early this summer, with a home video release later in 2014.

Participant Media and Univision (1 buy): They nabbed doc "Cesar's Last Fast" in a six figure deal.

Funny or Die and Univision: (1 buy): They partnered to take vampire mockumentary "What We Do In the Shadows," from Kiwi funny guys Jemaine Clement ("Flight of the Concords") and Taika Waititi ("Boy"). 

Well Go USA (1 buy): They took US rights to Nazi zombie sequel "Dead Snow: Red vs. Dead."

4 Comments

  • Salty Bill | January 25, 2014 8:51 PMReply

    Just saw Obvious Child up here at Sundance, and it's a lovely piece of work---in its way, the perfect Sundance film. Fine work from Jenny Slate and her director, Ms. Robespierre.

  • gary | January 25, 2014 1:46 PMReply

    I thought FRANK was terrific and loved that Fassbender had the guts and smarts to play it in the mask. This is an offbeat film for sure and may divide audiences but the crowd I saw it with on Saturday morning loved t, responding often. Good for you Magnolia. Prove the naysayers wrong.

  • Kate | January 22, 2014 7:21 PMReply

    I'm curious to see who will have the guts to pick up the marketing nightmare that is 'Frank'.

  • magnolia | January 25, 2014 6:29 AM

    MAGNOLIA

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