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David Poland

By David Poland

Why Is The Hollywood Reporter Hyping Sundance Sales?

The Kids Are Alright – $4m-ish for domestic
Buried – $3m or so
Blue Valentine
The Killer Inside Me
Winter’s Bone
Family Affair
10 deals pending… 2 or 3 for real theatrical.
People absolutely liked the films this year better than in recent years. And this makes last year look pretty damn good, commercially.
And with due respect to vets like Roadside and IFC… not much theatrical muscle (or intent) there… and the number of new companies with no track record… from Oprah’s cable net to a book publisher to Newmarket. Seriously?
Lionsgate bought a thriller with a star for a fraction of what a production would cost them… Focus bought a film they should have made in the first place… and we’re done. Sony Classics will fill their library – and find an indie theatrical hit or two – with six-figure deals for quality films that will roll in over the next two months as reality hits.
And a note to the forgetful… Precious didn’t sell until AFTER Oprah and Tyler Perry signed on… which was not until the bitter end of Sundance… and the deal didn’t close for weeks after. The film was not Little Miss Sunshine or Blair Witch at all.

3 Responses to “Why Is The Hollywood Reporter Hyping Sundance Sales?”

  1. marychan says:

    Small correction: The Hannover House’s deal for Joel Schumacher’s “Twelve” is a theatrical deal. Hannover House has even bought in Tom Ortenberg to oversee the domestic distribution of “Twelve”; Hannover House wouldn’t do that if they don’t want to give this film a serious theatrical release.
    Tom Ortenberg is definitely a smart guy, so “Twelve” would have chance to become an indie box office hit.
    Sundance sales in 2010 may not be excellent, but it is definitely better than what happened in last few years; it deserves some hypes (especially considering that there were too much bad news for indie market).
    When IFC even paid $1.5 million to buy a day-and-date theatrical/VOD release, sellers definitely have good reason to be happy.
    “Precious” is not Little Miss Sunshine or Blair Witch at all, but it doesn’t have to be; like what Tom Bernard indicated, not every film has to be as big of a hit as “Juno”.

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Twelve is one of the worst novels I have ever read, if not the worst. I lack the vocabulary to adequately describe how truly awful it is. Hopefully the movie is better.

  3. jennab says:

    Dave, I’ve answered my own question on another thread re: Kids Are All Right. Director Cholodanko put budget @ 3.5 mil (versus IMDB’s inflated $10 mil), which makes sense as its the SAG low budget agreement ceiling. But WOW! Look what level of star power now needs to be delivered under that contract to eek out a profitable sale! Oh well. At least financiers re-couped.

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