This morning, a rival agent emailed me, “ICM party: Knuckleheads RSVP’ed 800 people for a 150-person capacity party 15 minutes away from Main Street in the middle of nowhere last night. Party started at 9, gate closed at 10, and anybody who got there after 10, whether client or not, didn’t even get near the house. Disaster. That’s why we don’t throw parties at Sundance.” Later, a source from ICM told me, “Nowhere near 800 people were invited. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to accommodate everyone who showed up, but all of our clients were allowed access. Everyone had a great time.”
Tonight, a top entertainment lawyer just emailed me: “Prediction: 500 Days Of Summer wins grand prize at Sundance… Crowd LOVED it.”
So Antoine Fuqua’s Brooklyn’s Finest starring Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle, Wesley Snipes and Ellen Barkin became Sundance’s first pickup. Senator Distribution with partner Sony Pictures’ Worldwide Distribution Group bought North American rights tonight after its world premiere Friday. Price was around $5M with a big marketing commitment. CAA and WMA did the deal. The film’s controversial ending will be changed.
War Room filmaker R.J. Cutler’s documentary about Vogue‘s 9 months of preparation for the September 2007 issue, appropriately titled The September Issue, was made with a four-person crew, 300 hours of film, and the full cooperation of the mag. It screened at Sundance yesterday, and Nuclear Wintour not only turned up to help plug the pic, but everyone admitted that she succesfully spun Cutler to film almostly exactly what she wanted him to film. Said Anna, “I’m thrilled that the agony and the heartbreak and the joy and the incredible hours and passion that everyone that works at Vogue puts into the magazine was what R.J. decided to focus on.”
Sundance tipster emailed me: “The big scuttlebutt is what is Warner Bros going to do about Spring Breakdown which has been on the shelf there for 2 years. Even though Amy Poehler couldn’t be hotter! Remember, as you reported, they didn’t love it and were sending this to home video. It was supposed to come out February 3rd on DVD, but Warners pushed it way back to April. But several acquisition folks went to Friday’s midnight screening on a whim (on the very lame 2nd night of Sundance) which was sold out. They have the E-ticket passes so they were fine. Now at least two buyers want it badly and are preparing the best kind of approach for this odd kind of situation.”
BNC PR emailed: “It was another eventful night in Park City at the T-Mobile G1 Diner at the Village at the Yard. The cast of Spring Breakdown, including Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, Rachel Dratch and Amber Tamblyn, all stopped by the G1 Diner for a cast dinner in their honor. John Krasinski and Emily Blunt came hand-in-hand to visit friends, mingling with the cast and crew of Spring Breakdown into the late hours. Newlyweds KayCee Stroh and Ben Higginson danced the night away. The entire party was kept going through the music of DJ Momjeans (aka Danny Masterson.) Ashton Kutcher visited the T-Mobile G1 Diner to support his friend, giving his former That 70’s Show castmate a huge hug upon arrival.”
From PMK/HBH: “You know a genre film is good when the sold out midnight premiere screening of Grace at the Sundance Film Festival was a success. Horrified by the gore, during the screening, two male audience members fainted in the lobby. The genre-loving fans were shocked by their extreme reaction to the bloody subject matter, commenting that they have never responded to this type of film before. First time feature filmmaker, Paul Solet’s horror film, based on his award-winning short of the same name, Grace is an unforgettable emotional and psychological journey into terror as a young woman is forced to make the ultimate motherly sacrifice when the stillborn child she carried to term returns to life with a horrifying appetite.”
Hollywood flack emailed me: “In Sundance. Pretty thin crowd and slow in general.”
More as it comes in… By identifying who’s telling me what here, I’m just being more honest than most media outlets who regurgitate the Sundance PR without telling readers.