By Esther Zuckerman
Updated September 18, 2014 at 06:57 PM EDT

Chris Rock’s Top Five, the big financial success of the Toronto International Film Festival, is headed for theaters this December. The film, which also received critical raves, will open in limited release Dec. 5 and then expand Dec. 12. That release date will make the film eligible for awards season buzz. After a reportedly heated bidding war, Paramount snagged the movie for a whopping $12.5 million.

In the movie, which is written and directed by Rock, Rock plays a comedian-turned-star of crappy movies who has gone serious in a movie about the Haitian Revolution. He’s engaged to a reality star (Gabrielle Union), but the central relationship of the film is between Rock’s character and a New York Times journalist played by Rosario Dawson, who is writing a profile of him. Tracy Morgan, Kevin Hart, and Cedric the Entertainer are among the many stars to appear in the movie.