UPDATE: Fox Searchlight says the final price for the film was $9.5 million.
EXCLUSIVE: After a ferocious all-night auction, Patti Cake$ is moving toward a close, with Fox Searchlight in the lead to pay around $10.5 million for the film. Lionsgate and Neon are the other finalists and Amazon, Sony and Annapurna were along for the ride, all for a movie that buyers almost universally adored. Rumors raced last night that bidding went beyond that number. I’m told there was an offer for around $13 million but the decision was made to go with FSL, for a film right in its wheelhouse. The distributor has shown its ability to handle off-beat Sundance films, including past successes Little Miss Sunshine and Napoleon Dynamite. The final three bid in the same range, and the upstart Neon got close here.
As it is, the deal is about 10 times the film’s budget, which qualifies as a precedent-setting deal. The Geremy Jasper-directed pic stars Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, and Cathy Moriarty. The picture has been the buzziest title this side of the docu Step since premiering yesterday at Eccles Theater. Patricia Dombrowski, aka Killa P, aka Patti Cake$, is an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of Jersey strip malls and strip clubs in quest of stardom.
CAA and WME Global are putting the finishing touches on the second eight-figure deal of what has proved to be a very robust Sundance acquisition marketplace.
The pic was financed and produced by RT Features, with Rodrigo Teixeira producing along with Michael Gottwald, Noah Stahl, Dan Janvey and Daniela Taplin and Chris Columbus. Lourenço Sant’Anna is exec producing with Josh Penn, Sophie Mas and Eleanor Columbus. The company also produced and financed Call Me By Your Name, which premiered in Sundance yesterday and was pre-bought by Sony Pictures Classics. Noah Stahl, Michael Gotttwald and Dan Janvey of the Department of Motion Pictures also produce.