Though only filmmakers contending for prizes remain in Park City for the final day of the Sundance Film Festival, the deal making continues. Magnolia has acquired Nobody Walks, the Russo-Young-directed drama about a young female artist who stays with a family in Silver Lake. Her presence makes the husband and wife question their own fears and desires. It’s a mid six figure deal with backend and Submarine is brokering it.
At the same time, The Weinstein Company is close to getting on the board with an acquisition, making a VOD-centric deal for the Stephen Frears-directed Lay the Favorite. That film will get in the $2 million range (last year it would have sold for much more), and it will be a strong VOD release with a cast of Bruce Willis, Rebecca Hall and Catherine Zeta-Jones. That makes two films coming out of the festival and headed toward VOD with big stars. The other is Arbitrage, which stars Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon and was acquired by Margin Call distributors Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions.
Among the other films in play is The Other Dream Team, the Marius Markevicius-directed documentary about the the Lithuanian basketball team’s rise to medal in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. While the star-studded U.S. Dream Team took the gold, Lithuania scrapped and won the bronze medal by beating Russia, its former oppressor. I’m told that six distributors are vying for distribution rights at the moment, and that Disney, Paramount and Fox are exploring the remake rights, with both being sold by WME Global.