CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Independent, Deals, Sundance, Distribution, Fox Searchlight, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, Sundance Film Festival, CinematicalThe logjam may have been broken at Sundance. Just as I finished writing something about the slow selling conditions over the usually busy first weekend, Variety broke the news that Choke and Henry Poole is Here have both been sold.
Fox Searchlight acquired Choke in a deal valued at $5 million, for which the distributor receives "world rights, less several international territories," according to Variety. Erik Davis told us the film's world premiere on Monday night was a hot ticket and that it received shouts and cheers at the conclusion of the screening.
As a fan of the source material -- the novel comes from Fight Club author Chuck Palahnuik -- Erik said he had some issues with it. His review explains: "First-time director Clark Gregg (who also penned the script) decided to turn this adaptation into a straight-up laugher that really works ... some of the time." Erik was mighty impressed with Sam Rockwell's performance as a scheming sexual addict, though he wonders if "casual moviegoers and non-Palahniuk fanboys" will be care. Fox Searchlight now has five million reasons to make them care.
In the other big deal of the moment, Overture Films acquired US rights to comedy/drama Henry Poole is Here for about $3.5 million. Mark Pellington directed; he previously made Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies, and a whole bunch of music videos. Henry Poole stars Luke Wilson as a man who believes that he is dying, so he leaves his fiancee and family business to spend his final days alone -- but no one will leave him alone! To repeat an old joke, Overture Films now has three and a half million reasons to hope moviegoers will not, in fact, leave him alone.