EXCLUSIVE: U.S. rights on the Nacho Vigalondo-directed Colossal with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis starring have just been sold by CAA and Voltage to an unspecified Chinese-based media company. That China-based enterprise, which paid mid-seven figures for the film and is guaranteeing a significant 2017 theatrical release, will be revealed in the next few weeks when it announces its investment in a new U.S. studio.
Hathaway plays a woman who becomes convinced that the power of her mind is connected to the rampage of a giant lizard that has just started destroying Seoul, and that she alone can halt the destruction. Austin Stowell and Dan Stevens also star in the pic, which was written by Vigalondo.
Despite the unusual nature of this deal, it falls in line with what so far has been a most unusual 2016 Toronto Film Festival. This becomes the second high-seven- or near-eight-figure deal for a finished film (Fox Searchlight paid the latter for the Pablo Larrain-directed Jackie late last night), and while finished films are just beginning to find homes, the festival marketplace has seen massive pre-buys. That began with the Focus Features deal for Paul Thomas Anderson’s film with Daniel Day-Lewis and Lionsgate’s deal for the Jonathan & Josh Anderson-directed Kin, both deals for negative pickups with budget commitments and back-ends in excess of $30 million; and the $5 million plus $1.5 million in producing fees PalmStar Media paid for the Paulo Coelho novel The Alchemist.
It was clear coming in that the current distributor preference for pre-buys would overshadow finished film deals at the festival, but the latter should begin falling in place over the next few days. Most of the films have been seen, with a potential big one coming today: the George Nolfi-directed Birth Of The Dragon, an acquisitions title whose WW rights availability should be appealing given that the lack of stars is offset by the subject: Bruce Lee’s famous private brawl with Wong Jack Man, with Steve McQueen the narrator and bridge between the two brawling master martial artists.
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