UPDATE, 5:35 PM: It’s official: Drafthouse Films and Snoot Entertainment have confirmed their acquisition of the midnight pic Cheap Thrills, which will receive a theatrical and VOD release. The deal kicked off sales at SXSW 2013, which picked up today when another late night selection, Haunters, went to IFC Midnight. The official Cheap Thrills announcement appears below Deadline’s original exclusive.
EXCLUSIVE, SUNDAY PM: The first deal of SXSW 2013 closed today as Drafthouse Films and Snoot Entertainment took theatrical, home vid and VOD rights to E.L. Katz’s midnight selection Cheap Thrills. Pat Healy, David Koechner, Sara Paxton, and Ethan Embry star in the twisted comedy thriller about a working class family man tempted by a rich couple into a series of escalating bets. Bidding wars are rare at the Austin fest, but competition broke out late Friday night after the film’s premiere where audience and critical enthusiasm was high. I hear Magnolia, Anchor Bay, and IFC were also in the running at various stages with some eager to buy right away. But in stark contrast to Sundance, where auctions carry on into the wee hours of the night and nobody sleeps, this deal took all of Saturday to unfold. (more…)