PARK CITY -- The dropping temperatures at the Sundance Film Festival seem to be tempering the acquisition fever that usually accompanies the annual Utah confab. While acquisition executives are looking at a healthy number of films premiering at the event, no one title has sent any firm into an unreasonable bidding war.
That being said, a number of titles have been sold or are in the process of being sold to a wide array of distributors.
Although opening-weekend deals didn't reach the stratospheric heights of last year's $10.6 million price tag for Little Miss Sunshine
or the $6 million sale of The Science of Sleep
, or 2005's Hustle & Flow,
which went for $9 million, they still retained some of the late-night negotiating hustle that has become a Sundance staple.James C. Strouse
's John Cusack
starrer Grace Is Gone
lived up to its prefest buzz, luring the likes of the Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight
and Sony Pictures Classics
into an all-night bidding war. The Weinstein Co. nabbed worldwide rights to the movie for $4 million, closing the sale at 4:30 a.m. in co-seller Cinetic Media's Deer Valley condo.Dan Klores
' documentary Crazy Love
marked the first sale of the festival, fetching mid-six figures from Magnolia Pictures
for North American rights excluding television. The film tells the bizarre, half-century love story of Burt and Linda Pugach
, a New York couple who got married decades after Burt spent years in jail for blinding Linda.
Negotiations also heated up Sunday afternoon on the George Ratcliff-directed Joshua
, with multiple parties entering the talks. Fox Searchlight was among several distributors vying for the psychological thriller, which centers on a precocious child who wreaks havoc on his family. Although the deal hadn't closed by press time, Searchlight is almost certain to be the buyer. UTA and attorney Andrew Hurwitz
are co-selling the project.
Despite repeated denials that they were buying the feature, sources said late Sunday that the Weinstein Co.