UPDATE: Relativity Media has confirmed the Don Jon’s Addiction deal, and I’ll run the announcement below the original break of the story. In terms of the precedent-setting amount, other buyers have helpfully reminded me of Sundance films like Happy Texas, Hustle & Flow, and The Spitfire Grill. There was also a rather large P&A commitment that went for the wide release genre film Splice. Several of those didn’t work out well and Relativity will have to gross $35 million or more on this film to make the numbers work here, but it’s a bold statement-making play, and maybe it will pay off.
EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you first that Relativity Media had placed a bid that was blowing everybody out of the water on Don Jon’s Addiction, the directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt that has had brisk buyer interest since it premiered. I’m hearing that Relativity Media is wrapping up what will be an historic, precedent-setting deal for a Sundance film, harkening to the days when distributors spent big big bucks here. Word I’m hearing is they are paying the $4 million minimum guarantee I’ve mentioned before, but that there is a whopping $25 million P&A for a summer release on 2000 screens. Yowza! That meets or surpasses marks for a biggest Sundance (non-genre film) total deal — and biggest domestic deal because this is not for the world. It is for U.S. only. I’m sure if that’s awry, my commenters will tell me and we’ll set the record straight if this didn’t beat the record.
I think Gordon-Levitt has delivered the goods here, even if he has to make trims for an R rating. He’s a bright young man who’s willing to do what he needs to, and Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier, who took a risk to get this film made with Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, and Tony Danza, will likely be smiling before lunchtime is over. Even if, as Gordon-Levitt told me in our Sundance interview, the financier wasn’t sure about the racy jokes until Gordon-Levitt’s 50/50 cohorts Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg watched a cut and laughed through the entire film. Those guys know R-rated comedy, and Chartier was left at ease. Ram Bergman (who also produced Gordon-Levitt’s Looper) also is producing.
CAA, co-repping with WME Global, is tying up the deal right now.
Relativity Media announced today the acquisition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s daring, hotly pursued directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Relativity has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the film written, directed and starring Gordon-Levitt alongside Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore. The studio plans a wide-release and further distribution details including a release date will be announced at a later time. Don Jon’s Addiction is a Voltage Pictures presentation of a HitRecord Films, Ram Bergman production. It was produced by Ram Bergman with Nicolas Chartier serving as Executive Producer. This marks the third collaboration between producer Ram Bergman (BRICK, LOOPER) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt said, “I always intended this to be a movie for a mass popular audience. Everyone told me it was a long shot. Now Relativity is making it happen. Tucker and Robbie told me they believe that, more than anything, audiences want something unique. I couldn’t agree with them more. I admire them for putting their money where their mouth is. And I couldn’t possibly be more grateful.”
Tucker Tooley, President, Relativity added, “Joseph Gordon-Levitt is an incredibly talented filmmaker and he has created a bold, funny and moving story and we are proud to work with him, Ram Bergman and the rest of their team on bringing his vision to audiences across the country.”
Jon Martello objectifies everything in his life: his apartment, his car, his family, his church, and, of course, women. His buddies even call him Don Jon because of his ability to pull “10s” every weekend without fail. Yet even the finest flings don’t compare to the transcendent bliss he achieves alone in front of the computer watching pornography. Dissatisfied, he embarks on a journey to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women.
CAA and WME negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. International sales are being handled by Voltage Pictures.
Relativity previously acquired the documentary film Catfish at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival which not only spawned a successful theatrical release, but a hit MTV show which debuted No. 1 in its timeslot and was picked up for a second season.
Up next, Relativity will release the outrageous Movie 43 (in theatres January 25, 2013), the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling Safe Haven (in theatres February 14, 2013), the comedy 21 and Over (in theatres March 1, 2013) and the corporate espionage thriller Paranoia (in theatres October 4, 2013). Relativity is currently in post-production on Scott Cooper’s gritty dramatic thriller currently-titled Out of the Furnace and Luc Besson’s comedic action film Malavita (October 18, 2013) with EuropaCorp. Relativity recently announced Jimmy Hayward’s upcoming animated, hilarious buddy comedy Turkeys (November 14, 2014).