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Thompson on Hollywood

Sundance Deal Update: 'Simon Killer,' 'Chasing Ice,' 'The Pact'

With many of the biggest buyers heading home with depleted wallets, smaller deals are playing out. IFC Films is in final talks to acquire "Simon Killer," a psychological drama; this is IFC's second acquisition after writer-director-actor Josh Radnor's "Liberal Arts."
  • By Nora Chute
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  • January 26, 2012 6:08 PM
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Sundance Deal: The Story Behind 'Arbitrage' and Its Sale to Lionsgate/Roadside

Park City, Utah...Marking their first acquisition of the Sundance Film Festival, Lionsgate and Roadside acquired U.S. distribution rights for about $2 million to Nicholas Jarecki's "Arbitrage," starring Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling. There had been some speculation that the recent Lionsgate/Summit merger would have some impact on the company's buying appetite, but they were in the hunt, and Roadside Attractions' Howard Cohen, celebrating three Oscar nominations for "Albert Nobbs" and one for "Margin Call" (partnered with Lionsgate), was in good spirits at the Cinetic party at the Bing Bar Tuesday night.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 25, 2012 9:14 PM
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Sundance Reviews: Sony Pictures Classics Pick-Up 'Celeste & Jesse Forever'

Sony Picture Classics has acquired all North American, Latin American, and Eastern European rights to Sundance Premiere title "Celeste & Jesse Forever."
  • By Nora Chute
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  • January 24, 2012 6:09 PM
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Sundance Review Round-Up: Fox Searchlight Plans Oscar Run for 'The Surrogate'

Fox Searchlight immediately snapped up "The Surrogate" for $6 million, the biggest acquisition at Sundance so far this year, outmaneuvering at least three other potential buyers for the picture.
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • January 24, 2012 2:55 PM
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Review Round-Up: Fox Searchlight Pick-Up 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' Stuns and Impresses

The breakout hit of Sundance, Benh Zeitlin's "Beasts of the Southern Wild," has critics gushing. After acquiring potential Academy contender "The Surrogate" for a cool $6 million for worldwide rights, Fox Searchlight closed a deal for "Beasts of the Southern Wild"as well. (Review round-up below.)
  • By Anne Thompson and Maggie Lange
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  • January 24, 2012 1:46 PM
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Sundance Deal Wrap: Mickey Liddell Picks Up 'Black Rock,' CBS Gets 'The Words,' Breakout 'Beasts of Southern Wild' Wins Grant, Heats Up with Searchlight

The Sundance Fest is in full swing, with modest deals under way. The two opening night doc buys from Sony Pictures Classics ("Searching for Sugar Man") and Magnolia ("The Queen of Versailles") were both sweet and easy low-bid offers closed on the first night, according to SPC's Tom Bernard and Magnolia's Eamonn Bowles, respectively.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 23, 2012 1:08 AM
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Octavia Spencer: From the Golden Globes to Sundance's 'Smashed'

On Oscar night last year, L.A. resident Octavia Spencer was plopped on her living room couch, running the pool at her Oscar party, $5 a shot. Running the gauntlet of awards events, from her breakthrough award at Palm Springs and supporting actress win at the Critics Choice Movie Awards, she's trying to keep her head on straight.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 19, 2012 4:15 PM
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