After a frenzied 24 hours of negotiations with several heavyweight buyers, the Bradley Cooper drama closed on Sunday (22) in Sundance 2012’s biggest deal yet as US rights went for approximately $3.5m including a $1.5m p&a pledge.
Meanwhile in a reportedly high six-figure deal Mickey Liddell’s fledgling LD Distribution took North American rights from Submarine to Katie Aselton’s Midnight entry Black Rock. The deal closed at 5am on Sunday morning following the world premiere on Saturday night and Submarine is currently entertaining overtures from international sales agents and individual territory buyers. IFC, Magnolia, Gold Circle and Lionsgate were also in the hunt.
Returning to The Words, CAA and Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister and Cassian Elwes negotiated the domestic sale on behalf of the producers with Scott Shooman of CBS Films. The sellers spent much of Saturday huddling with acquisitions teams following a packed morning buyers screening at the Holiday Village.
When suitors dropped out because of the high asking price it came down to a small pack including CBS Films and LD Distribution. CBS Films will promote the platform release on national and affiliate channels through an apparatus that allows the distributor to get greater mileage out of its p&a commitment.
The Words marks the feature directorial debut of Tron: Legacy writers Klugman and Sternthal, who also wrote the screenplay about a struggling writer who finds a brilliant lost manuscript and passes himself off as the author. Zoe Saldana and Jeremy Irons also star.
Michael Benaroya of financier Benaroya FIlms served as producer alongside Animus Films’ Jim Young and Serena Films’ Tatiana Kelly. Rister and Elwes were executive produdcers with Lisa Wilson of international sales agent Parlay Films and Cooper.
Parlay has pre-sold the majority of territories, licensing rights to Wild Bunch for Germany, FIP for France, Becker for Australia and Planeta for Spain.
Interest continued to swirl around West Of Memphis, Celeste And Jesse Forever, Beasts Of The Southern Wild and The Pact while Saturday premieres in play included the Richard Gere drama Arbitrage and Robot And Frank.
The hot films on Sunday’s buyer watchlist include Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer, Liberal Arts, Nobody Walks, Save The Date, Smashed, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and For A Good Time, Call…