Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi’s Sundance hit Hunt for the Wilderpeople has sold out at Cannes for Protagonist Pictures. Vertigo Releasing has acquired the film for the UK, Synergy has taken it for France and Front Row Entertainment for the Middle East. North America (co-repped by Protagonist and CAA) sold at Sundance to The Orchard, while local territories New Zealand and Australia were retained by the producers and are with Piki and Madman.
Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has scooped up all remaining territories.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople has just become the highest-grossing local film ever in New Zealand, surpassing previous record holder, Boy, also from Waititi, which grossed in excess of $9.3M in 2010. Waititi (with co-director Jemaine Clement) also holds the seventh slot on the top box office list for 2014’s What We Do in the Shadows, which grossed over NZ$2.5M.
“Having the film sell worldwide is fantastic,” Waititi said. “We’re thrilled that people will get to see it in all territories. It’s also great for New Zealand Film that there is an appetite for our style of filmmaking. I couldn’t be happier.”
The adventure comedy stars newcomer Julian Dennison as a city kid who is moved to the country to live with a new family and ends up on the run in the bush with his foster uncle Hec (Sam Neill). The film opens theatrically on May 26 in Australia and June 24 in the U.S.
Waititi, an Oscar nominee for his 2004 live-action short Two Cars, One Night, is shooting Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok.