UPDATED: A torpid start to the market coupled with concerns over the desirability of acquisition titles has left buyers looking expectantly towards reportedly a $10m-plus deal for Top Five.
By Sunday evening a growing number of buyers were circling Chris Rock’s adult comedy (pictured), arguably the only potentially commercial available title to earn universal praise.
Also drawing attention were François Girard’s Boychoir, Jalmari Helander’s Big Game, Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young, Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler and Ed Zwick’s Pawn Sacrifice.
Acquisitions teams have also seen Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club, Paul Bettany’s directorial debut Shelter, Michael Douglas starrer The Reach and Kristen Wiig starrer Welcome To Me. Contrary to reports Sophie Barthes’ Madame Bovary remains on the table and had not been sold at time of the updated report on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s offerings include Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind, Bill Pohlad’s Love & Mercy biopic of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and a private screening of a rough cut of the new Peggy Guggenheim documentary via Submarine Entertainment.
Meanwhile buyers were still poring over Friday and Saturday shows that included Ruba Nadda’s October Gale, Richard Loncraine’s Ruth & Alex and Marah Strauch’s Sunshine Superman.
Four days in and the only acquisition to speak of is Radius’ move on US rights for The Last 5 Years — a deal that closed prior to the festival. “It’s a dud market,” one buyer told Screendaily.
The early absence of an on-site US buy is not unusual given the prevailing climate of financial prudence, however many say the lack of energy has been compounded by Toronto’s new premieres policy that has shunted films that received their world premiere in Telluride into the second week of Toronto.
The result, sources say, is a vacuum caused by the delayed arrival of Telluride hits The Imitation Game, 99 Homes and Wild. The earliest public screening for any one of this hot trio is Monday night.
After festival opener The Judge received a muted reception, public anticipation was building for world premieres of several high-profile titles with distribution in place. The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington and The Theory Of Everything play on Sunday.