Here’s Who Will Buy Sundance’s Buzziest Titles And For How Much

Greetings from Park City, Utah where the entire entertainment industry has descended upon this little, sleepy, frigid town, to get a glimpse at the movies that you’ll hear a lot about, but probably never see until they land on a streaming service.

But that’s not the real story.

With today being the first day of the Sundance Film Festival, there’s an inordinate amount of articles being published online and in print that are calling out the buzziest, most-desired, most-interesting, most-talked about titles of the festival, such as this one from none other than Variety.

It’s easy to do that.

But we’re not going to spend your valuable time telling you what the buzziest titles are; which are only buzzy because some publicist told some reporter that “this is gonna be a buzzy one” or “people are really responding to what they’ve seen about this one” or “so-and-so celebrity is in this one, and they’re very buzzy these days.” Instead, we’d like to tell you who will buy each one of these titles (if they are available for buying, that is and not already tagged by a company like Netflix), and for how much. And why.

That’s something none of those other publications will do. Because they’re afraid of making a mistake they’ll be called out on later. The difference at SNTS is that we’re not afraid of making mistakes, being called out on it, or sacrificing our almost non-existent ad revenue in the process.

So without further adieu…

Here are Variety‘s published “buzziest titles from Sundance” and our predictions for who will buy them, how much they’ll go for and how it ranks on our own bullshit factor (5 out of 5 poop emojis means we don’t think we’re full of shit or winging it at all); or how confident we are in our Nostradamus-like instincts.

BAD HAIR
Directed by Justin Simien (Dear White People), this 80’s era comedy/horror story basically tells the story of a young woman’s weave that comes to life with a mind of its own. Crazy, wacky, weird, strange. Think urban, 80’s, great music and bat-shit crazy antics.

Buyer: A24 and Neon, bidding head-to-head. Winner: A24
Price: $4-5 million for Domestic Rights
Bullshit Factor: Four out of five poop-emojis

ON THE RECORD
Directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, this is an investigative expose against Hip Hop mogul Russell Simmons. The one that Queen Oprah backed out of at the last minute. So there’s a stench on it that even Apple TV Plus won’t touch, especially since Oprah is one of their coveted partners.

Buyer: Magnolia or HBO battle out the theatrical vs. HBO Max streaming component.
Price: If Magnolia, $1 million for Domestic Rights. If HBO, $8 million for Worldwide all-rights deal.
Bullshit Factor: Three out of five poop-emojis.

WORTH
Directed by Sara Colangelo, this stars (yes, stars) Morbiusend-of-the-trailer cameo actor Michael Keaton, playing a lawyer fighting for the Sept 11th Victim Compensation Fund. It’s social justice, a clear star with Awards cred, and drama drama drama.

Buyer: Amazon
Price: $12 Million, Worldwide deal, worldwide same day roll-out in the Fall/Winter across all platforms.
Bullshit Factor: Five out of five poop-emojis.

COME AWAY
Directed by Brenda Chapman, starring lots of big stars like Angelina Jolie, David Oyelowo and Michael Caine. This is a strange one; a live-action origin story of two parents whose children are Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland living in the English Countryside. A magical kid-like indie that is like the origin story of two classic literary characters.

Buyer: Netflix
Price: $10 Million, Worldwide deal
Bullshit Factor: Two out of five poop emojis.

THE NEST
Directed by Sean Durkin, starring Jude Law and Carrie Coon and Produced by Late Night‘s FilmNation — this is another 80’s set self-destructive thriller that will be great for streaming services or theatrical companies looking to dig their teeth into something meaty with a cast they can leverage.

Buyer: Bleecker Street vs. Focus Features. Winner: Focus Features
Price: $4 Million, Domestic
Bullshit Factor: Four out of five poop emojis.

THE GLORIAS
Directed by Julie Taymor and starring Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Janelle Monae and Bette Midler; all playing Gloria Steinem. Great cast, of the moment, and a very very pricey film from the FilmNation crew.

Buyer: Netflix vs. Amazon vs. Sony Pictures Classics. Winner: Amazon, with a commitment to a real theatrical.
Price: $13 Million, Worldwide
Bullshit Factor: Four out of five poop emojis.

THE FIGHT
Directed by Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres — the folks behind Weiner, bring this documentary to town about the ins and outs of the fight to maintain civil liberties as Trump tries to chip away at them. Social justice. Of the moment. Perfect for streaming; Kerry Washington (Producer) will agree.

Buyer: Netflix (for streaming) vs. IFC Films (who released Weiner). Winner: IFC Films kind-of…because, well, theatrical release.
Price: $2 Million, Domestic (and Netflix gets the rest of the world)
Bullshit Factor: Two out of five poop emojis.

US KIDS
Directed by Kim A. Snyder, this is a doc that deals with the aftermath of the 2018 Parkland shooting.

Buyer: Magnolia Pictures
Price: $1.5 Million, Domestic
Bullshit Factor: Three out of five poop emojis.

THE 40-YEAR-OLD VERSION
Directed by Radha Blank, this is a B&W Farewell-esque look (but on a smaller, more indie scale) about a playwright who decides to reinvent herself as a hip-hop cabaret star. Considered one of Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” can help, but it’s not a big one.

Buyer: IFC Films
Price: Undisclosed, which means Under $1 million
Bullshit Factor: Two out of five poop emojis

SHIRLEY
Directed by Josephine Decker, starring Elisabeth Moss, who plays the visionary horror novelist, Shirley Jackson. This is a psycho-drama that could land in a few places that gravitate towards smaller, indie performance-based thrillers.

Buyer: Hulu, with an assist by Magnolia or Neon
Price: $3 Million Domestic
Bullshit Factor: Three out of five poop emojis.

PALM SPRINGS
Directed by Max Barbakow, Produced by The Lonely Island, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. This is a light, comedic wedding movie that has more commercial prospects than most. With Andy Samberg’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine landing on a particularly-named new streamer, we think we’re 100% on this one.

Buyer: Peacock, with a theatrical assist by Universal
Price: $6 Million Worldwide
Bullshit Factor: Five out of five poop emojis

IRONBARK
Directed by Dominic Cooke, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan and Jessie Buckley; this is the real life story about a UK businessman who finds himself in a top-secret CIA mission that could end the Cuban Missle Crisis.

Buyer: Amazon, because well…cast and it’s a period piece, and that hot air balloon thing is their biggest success to date, per the Ultimate Salke.
Price: $11 Million Worldwide
Bullshit Factor: Five out of five poop emojis.

FOUR GOOD DAYS
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis about a parent who tries to rescue her addict child.

Buyer: Sony Pictures Classics vs. Roadside Attractions. Winner: Sony Pictures Classics
Price: $4.5 Million Worldwide
Bullshit Factor: Five out of five poop emojis.
Wildcard Factor: If Amazon doesn’t get Ironbark, they could blow everyone else out of the water with a well-placed $8 million dollar fuck you.

So there you have it. Our predictions. Our rankings.

Our confidence. In your face.

Enjoy the Festival, everyone!

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