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Who bought what at Sundance

Posted on

Rick Famuyiwa

With Sundance almost over, a number of the festival’s buzzy titles have been picked up for distribution.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, a film about a girl with cancer who develops a friendship with a boy who remakes movies with his friend, inspired studios to offer up $12 million, the most ever paid for a Sundance film. However, The Hollywood Reporter reported that instead the movie sold to Fox Searchlight for a lesser number—mid-seven figures—because the studio had what a source told THR was a “really creative deal.”‘ (Variety pegged the price at $6 million.)

Fox Searchlight, however, did pay reported $9 million for Brooklyn, the adaptation of the Colm Tóibín novel, starring Saoirse Ronan. Meanwhile, Dope, about teens in Inglewood, was the subject of a bidding battle that involved, according to Deadline, The Weinstein Company, A24, and Fox Searchlight. It ended up being acquired by Open Road Films and Sony Pictures for a reported $7 million. Open Road has announced that the film will open in the U.S. on June 12.

This year’s buying has been a promising sign independent film business, reports noted. The New York Times, for instance, explained that “while Sundance is nothing close to the buying free-for-all that it was at its peak a decade ago — at least so far — this year’s strong bidding signals a counterintuitive return to health for independent film.”

See some of the other films studios bought in our list below.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Worldwide rights) 

Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Stars: Thomas Mann, Olivia Cooke, R.J. Cyler, Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Connie Britton

Studio: Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush

Brooklyn (U.S. and various international territories rights)

Director: John Crowley

Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, and Jim Broadbent

Studio: Fox Searchlight

Dope (Open Road – U.S. rights and Sony – international rights)

Director: Rick Famuyiwa 

Stars: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, and Kiersey Clemons

Studio: Open Road and Sony 

The Diary of a Teenage Girl (North American and other rights)

Director: Marielle Heller

Stars: Kristen Wiig, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, and Bel Powley

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics

Grandma (Worldwide rights)

Director: Paul Weitz

Stars: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, Judy Greer, Laverne Cox, and Sam Elliott

Studio: Sony Pictures Classics

Tangerine (Worldwide rights)

Director: Sean Baker

Stars: Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez

Studio: Magnolia Pictures

The Overnight (North American rights)

Director: Patrick Brice

Stars: Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman, and Judith Godrèche

Studio: The Orchard

The Witch (U.S. rights)

Director: Robert Eggers

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

Studio: A24, DIRECTV

Mistress America (Worldwide rights) 

Director: Noah Baumbach

Stars: Greta Gerwig and Lola Kirke

Studio: Fox Searchlight

Cop Car (U.S. and U.K. rights)

Director: Jon Watts

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Shea Whigham, and Camryn Manheim

Studio: Focus World

The Bronze (U.S. rights) 

Director: Bryan Buckley

Stars: Melissa Rauch, Thomas Middleditch, and Sebastian Stan

Studio: Relativity

The End of the Tour (U.S. rights)

Director: James Ponsoldt

Stars: Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg

Studio: A24

Results (Worldwide rights)

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Stars: Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Corrigan

Studio: Magnolia Pictures

Mississippi Grind (U.S. rights)

Director: Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden

Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Ben Mendelsohn, Sienna Miller, Annaleigh Tipton, and Robin Weigert

Studio: A24 and DIRECTV

Don Verdean (North American rights)

Director: Jared Hess

Stars: Sam Rockwell, Jemaine Clement, Amy Ryan, and Danny McBride

Studio: Lionsgate

Strangerland (North American rights)

Director: Kim Farrant

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes, and Hugo Weaving

Studio: Alchemy

The D Train (U.S. rights)

Director: Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel

Stars: Jack Black, James Marsden, and Kathryn Hahn

Studio: IFC Films

Knock Knock (North American rights) 

Director: Eli Roth

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas

Studio: Lionsgate

Digging for Fire (North American rights) 

Director: Joe Swanberg

Stars: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, and Anna Kendrick

Studio: The Orchard

Reversal (U.S. rights) 

Director: JM Cravioto

Stars: Tina Ivlev and Richard Tyson

Studio: IFC Midnight

Documentaries

Misery Loves Comedy (North American rights)

Director: Kevin Pollak 

Subjects: Includes Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Larry David, Judd Apatow

Studio: Tribeca Films

City of Gold (North American rights)

Director: Laura Gabbert

Subject: Jonathan Gold

Studio: Sundance Selects

The Wolfpack

Director: Crystal Moselle

Subjects: The Angulo brothers

Studio: Magnolia Pictures