Focus Features has confirmed that it will handle sales of continental European rights to Brad Silberling's Moonlight Mile starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon on behalf of Hyde Park Entertainment. Focus' international sales team under David Linde will screen the film at MIFED.
Moonlight Mile is the first picture for Hyde Park under its co-financing deal at Walt Disney Studios; Hyde Park, which is run by international veteran Ashok Amritraj, has recently renewed its dual distribution agreements with Disney and MGM.
World premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to good, although not rave reviews, Moonlight Mile which was previously known as both Baby's In Black and Goodbye Hello, is currently the ninth highest grossing film in North America. Last weekend, it went on to 434 screens from its platform opening the previous weekend and took $1.88m for an okay average of $4,338.
Hyde Park has a multiyear output deal with Epsilon, the Zurich-based film financing co-venture between Kirch Group and Mediaset which distributes its titles through partners such as Constantin Film in Germany. However, Epsilon has been increasingly conservative of late, not surprising given Kirch's financial situation - leaving less-than-mainstream titles such as Moonlight Mile out in the cold.
Hyde Park was known to be shopping Moonlight Mile as far back as Cannes this year, but no deal was struck with Focus International, which had just undergone its transformation from Good Machine International. MGM's Denzel Washington-starrer Out Of Time was also being talked about as a possible Hyde Park project up for sale, but MGM has subsequently retained the film.
Named after a song by the Rolling Stones, Moonlight Mile stars Gyllenhaal as the fiance of a girl who has been murdered in a restaurant shoot-out. The film follows the grieving process he undergoes with her parents played by Sarandon and Hoffman. It is Silberling's first picture since 1998's City Of Angels, and co-stars Ellen Pompeo, Holly Hunter and Dabney Coleman.
Moonlight Mile was financed under Hyde Park's relationship with Natexis Banques Populaires, the French bank whose LA entertainment division has also worked with Linde at Good Machine/Focus.