This piece was researched, compiled and written by TFC associate Bryan Glick.

Back in March we looked at the films that were bought out of Sundance and since then the deals have kept coming, including some from major players like Sony Pictures Classics (SPC)  and IFC.

Among the companies making fresh acquisitions, Tribeca Films nabbed North American rights to two US Dramatic competition entries, “The Comedy” and “For Ellen”. In fact every film in the US Dramatic Competition now has a US Distributor. SPC secured worldwide rights to “Smashed” for $1,000,000 and Sony Worldwide opened their eyes to  US Rights and Canada Ancillary for “The First Time”. Music Box bought “Keep The Lights On” for North America, in what is certainly a change of pace from their typical fare.  Meanwhile “Filly Brown” became the fourth film to get bought by Indomina who is making it clear that they are presence in the indie world. They have worldwide rights for the film. The Late Adam Yauch’s Oscilloscope got the North American rights to the opening night film “Hello I Must Be Going” and IFC showed they could acquire the entire festival if they wanted to by adding North American rights for “Save the Date” to their packed slate, and finally Wrekin Hill took a chance on “The End of Love” for which they now hold North American rights.

On the World Dramatic side “Teddy Bear” which won the directing prize became only the second film to get US Distribution from this competition section.  While in the World Documentary section “China Heavyweight” was acquired for the US by premiere documentary distributor Zeitgeist.

Oscilloscope embraced their music roots and will do a special release for “Shut Up and Play The Hits” in North America, while IFC Midnight  had to snatch up “Grabbers” for North America, leaving “John Dies at the End” as the only Midnight film to not sell this year. In the Next section, IFC got North American rights to yet another film with the audience award winner “Sleepwalk With Me” and Phase 4 got into the game with US and Canadian rights to “That’s What She Said”. This brings the total sale of Next films to five, with another four still looking for a buyer. While that might seem bleak, this is better than its first two years and slowly this section is showing that it can play with the big dogs in the US Dramatic Competition Section.

In the premiere section Strand is in for the long haul with US Rights for “California Solo” and “Red Hook Summer” is being distributed by Spike Lee’s own company in partnership with Variance and Image Entertainment. Only “Price Check” has yet to find a distributor.

In the US Documentary section, Film Arcarde & Lionsgate got a slam dunk with North American rights to “The Other Dream Team”, which reportedly sold for mid six figures Oscilloscope secured US, non-TV rights to “Chasing Ice” and Bravo got in on the action with “The Queen of Versailles”. Finally, “Detropia” just started a kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a DIY release.  Meanwhile , the Doc Premiere film “Under African Skies” saw a small theatrical run courtesy of A&E (who will also be premiering it on TV) and was bought by Snag Films for all digital platforms.

FINAL THOUGHTS. This year was yet again dominated by the power of the IFC brand. IFC/IFC Midnight acquired a whopping 8 films and their sister division Sundance Selects got 2! Magnolia/Magnet was a not even close second with 6 films. Oscilloscope, Indomina, and SPC all showed prominence with four films a piece. Other companies acquiring multiple films include Music Box, Zeitgeist, Tribeca Films, The Weinstein Company, Kino Lorber, and Fox Searchlight.  A full list of sales is viewable below.

Box office grosses are current as of June 10th.

Film Company Deal Amount Terrtitories Sales Company Box Office/
Release Date
2 Days in New York Magnolia N/A North America CAA August 10th
28 Hotel Rooms Oscilloscope N/A US Preferred Content
5 Broken Cameras Kino Lorber N/A US CAT&Docs $22,787
About Face HBO Doc N/A TV Pre-Fest July 30th
Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry Sundance Selects N/A North America Cinetic Media, Victoria Cook July 27th
Arbitrage Roadside Over $3,000,000 North America WME
Bachelorette TWC Over $2,000,000 North America CAA
Beasts of the Southern Wild Fox Searchlight Almost $1,000,000 US WME June 27th
Black Rock LD Over $1,000,000 North America Submarine
California Solo Strand N/A US Visit Films
Celeste and Jesse Forever SPC Almost $2,000,000 North And Latin America, Eastern Europe UTA August 3rd
Chasing Ice Oscilloscope N/A US  (Non TV) Submarine
Chasing Ice National Geographic N/A TV Submarine
China Heavyweight Zeitgeist N/A US EyeSteelFilms July 6th
Compliance Magnolia N/A North America Cinetic June 20th
Detropia DIY
Escape Fire Roadside N/A US CAA October 5th
Ethel HBO Doc N/A TV Pre-Fest
Excision Anchor Bay N/A North America Preferred Content
Filly Brown Indomina N/A Worldwide WME
For a Good Time Call Focus $3,000,000 Worldwide Cinetic August 31st
For Ellen Tribeca N/A North America CAA Sept 5th
GOATS Image Almsot $1,000,000 US WME and Cinetic Media
Grabbers IFC Midnight N/A North & Latin America Gersh
Hello, I Must Be Going Oscilloscope N/A North America WME
How To Survive a Plague Sundance Selects High Six Figures North America Submarine September 21st
Indie Game: The Movie HBO And Scott Rudin N/A TV Film Sales Company B.O. Gross not
 (Remake Rights) Reported
Keep the Lights On Music Box N/A North America Preferred Content
Lay the Favorite TWC Over $2,000,000 US CAA
Liberal Arts IFC Over $1,000,000 North America Gersh
Luv Indomina/BET Over $1,000,000 North America/TV ICM/Cinetic
Marina Abramovic HBO Doc TV Pre-Fest July 2nd
Marina Abramovic Music Box N/A US Submarine June 13th
Me @ The Zoo HBO Doc Mid Six Figures TV Submarine June 25th
Middle of Nowhere Participant and AAFFRM Mid Six Figures US Paradigm
Mosquita Y Mari Wolfe Low Six Figures North America The Film Collaborative August 3rd
Nobody Walks Magnolia Mid-high Six Figures North America Submarine
Payback Zeitgeist N/A US N/A $12,962
Predisposed IFC N/A North America ICM and UTA August 17th
Putin’s Kiss Kino Lorber N/A North America N/A $3,872
Red Hook Summer DIY/Variance/Image N/A North America N/A
Red Lights Millennium Entertainment Under $4,000,000 US UTA July 13th
Robot & Frank Sony & Samuel Goldwyn Over $2,000,000 North America and ICM, CAA
select territories
Room 237 IFC Midnight N/A North America Betsy Rodgers
Safety Not Guaranteed Film District Over $1,000,000 US ICM $97,762
Save the Date IFC N/A North America CAA
Searching for Sugar Man SPC Mid Six Figures North America Submarine July 27th
Shadow Dancer ATO $1,000,000 North America CAA
Shut Up and Play the Hits Oscilloscope N/A North America WME
Simon Killer IFC Films N/A North America UTA, Caa
Sleepwalk With Me IFC N/A North America UTA August 24th
Smashed SPC $1,000,000 Worldwide UTA and CAA
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap Indomina Over $1,000,000 Worldwide UTA
Teddy Bear Film Movement N/A North America Visit Films August 22nd
That’s what she said Phase 4 N/A US and Canada Submarine
The Comedy Tribeca N/A North America Submarine
The D Word HBO Doc N/A TV Pre-Fest
The End Of Love Wreckin Hill N/A North America Preferred Content
The First Time Sony Worldwide N/A US/Canada Ancillary N/A
The Imposter Indomina N/A North America A&E Films July 13th
The Invisble War Cinedigm and New Video N/A North America The Film Collaborative June 22nd
The Other Dream Team Film Arcade & Lionsgate Mid Six Figures North America WME
The Pact IFC Midnight High Six Figures North America Preferred Content
The Queen of Versailles Bravo N/A TV Submarine 2013
The Queen of Versailles Magnolia Mid Six Figures North America Submarine July 20th
The Surrogate Fox Searchlight $6,000,000 + Worldwide CAA
$4,000,00 P&A
The Words CBS $2,000,000 US CAA September 7th
Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie Magnet N/A World Pre Fest $201,406
Under African Skies A&E Films N/A TV/Theatrical A&E Films
Under African Skies Snag Films N/A Exclusive Digital A&E Films
V/H/S Magnolia (magnet) Over $1,000,000 North America WME
West of Memphis SPC N/A Worldwide Peter Jackson and Ken Kamins
Wish You Were Here Entertainment One N/A North America LevelK

June 13th, 2012

Posted In: Distribution, Film Festivals, International Sales

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