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Focus Features acquires US rights to Pines

UPDATE: In the first major on-site domestic deal of Toronto the distributor concluded US negotiations for The Place Beyond The Pines early on Sunday morning (9), paying in the mid-$2m range. Focus will release Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine follow-up in 2013.

The studio sent a full team to watch the Saturday morning P+I screening and had made little effort to disguise its interest. Initially the Weinstein Company had been regarded as the frontrunner before Focus moved into the ascendancy heading into Saturday evening.

WME Global and CAA co-represent domestic rights and negotiated the deal. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star in the drama which Cianfrance co-wrote with Ben Coccio and Darius Marder. Sierra / Affinity handles international sales.

Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Electric City Entertainment produced in association with Versimilitude. Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky and Kimmel served as producers while the executive producers were Jim Tauber, Matt Berenson and Bruce Toll.

Beyond Pines buyers have been coalescing around several other titles on offer. Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s What Maisie Knew – another WME title – has won fans while Imogene has divided buyers but few doubt it will find a home before long.

UTA represents the Kristen Wiig comedy from Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman and also handles Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, which also seems destined to wind up with a distributor.

ICM Partners was understood to be fielding at least one offer on Matthew Cooke’s documentary How To Make Money Selling Drugs, while Gersh has enjoyed interest in its duo of The Brass Teapot starring Juno Temple and Inescapable.

International rights sellers privately report a languid pace where new product is thin on the ground and the focus is on clearing up remaining territories, showing finished product to buyers and preparing for AFM.

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