Paramount Pictures has secured worldwide distribution rights to Chris Rock’s Top Five. The comedy – written, directed by and starring Rock – received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last Saturday.

Top Five

The studio reportedly paid in the region of $12.5m for the film, the only available title at the festival to earn near unanimous acclaim and create buzz in what has been a low-key Toronto for acquisitions.

Top Five also stars Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J B Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che and Jay Pharoah.  

Scott Rudin and Eli Bush produced and Barry Diller and Scott Rudin’s IACF financed. Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter and Kanye West are co-producers and Questlove is the executive music producer. UTA negotiated the deal on behalf of the IACF and the filmmakers.

Elsewhere, Saban Films acquired its third film since launching prior to Cannes. The distributor took US rights to The Forger starring John Travolta, Christopher Plummer, Abigail Spencer and Tye Sheridan.

WME Global and ICM Partners co-represented US rights and The Solution Entertainment Group handles international sales. The film has screened to press and industry and receives its world premiere on September 12.

Meanwhile Andrew Karpen’s fledgling distributor Bleecker Street has pounced on its first film, taking North American rights to Ed Zwick’s chess drama Pawn Sacrifice following a deal with representatives CAA and WME Global. Lionsgate International handles sales outside the US.

Tobey Maguire and Liev Schreiber star and Bleecker Street plans a 2015 release.

Earlier on Wednesday, Lionsgate / Roadside Attractions acquired North American rights to Bill Pohlad’s Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy in a deal with CAA.

  • Lionsgate has set release dates for two key films and will open Now You See Me 2 wide on June 10, 2016. The Summit film will star original cast members Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. Dirty Grandpa to star Robert De Niro and Zac Efron will open on December 25, 2015. Screendaily broke the acquisition story in Toronto and QED International handles sales outside the US.