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Why Sundance Film Sales Are So, So Slow This Year (So Far)

Sundance 2020: By Sunday afternoon, there’s been little or no motion on the gross sales entrance

We’re 4 days into the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and the offers are scarce: Amazon Studios acquired “Herself” late Sunday evening and Searchlight was circling an eight-figure acquisition of Rebecca Hall’s psychological thriller “The Night House.” But insiders say the pageant this 12 months is shifting at a a lot slower tempo than earlier years — for a large variety of causes.

“It’s an exciting time with all the new buyers, but at the same time, you have to be patient, because the pace of the sales has slowed,” one producer, who has a movie on the market on the pageant, instructed TheWrap. “A few years ago, it seemed like a lot of titles were gone by the end of opening weekend, but over the last few years, things have taken more time and sales have happened further into and even sometimes weeks after the festival.”

Another insider instructed TheWrap that some patrons may be taking their time to see what different distributors are doing, and holding off to see every little thing earlier than writing an enormous paycheck for anyone particular movie. After all, final 12 months, Amazon Studios spent upwards of $60 million on Sundance titles, a few of which underwhelmed on the field workplace, like “Late Night” and “Brittany Runs a Marathon.” (Amazon Studios execs maintains that they measure success by streaming subscribers and never by field workplace, and that each movies have been throughout the prime 5 finest performing movies on Prime Video of all time.)

“It will be interesting to see how the festival plays out this year — I’m optimistic because at the end of the day with all of these new buyers they do need content and good content will find homes,” the producer added.

An company supply agreed, including that patrons are being “much more careful” whereas on the lookout for one thing to develop or purchase.

“Buyers are still making offers, and they’re here to spend money, but they don’t want to overpay,” he mentioned. “They don’t want rush into anything. They’re being much more deliberate about acquisitions.”

Two insiders mentioned Amazon particularly was being quieter this 12 months as a result of the corporate already has a full slate for 2020. “Blow the Man Down,” “Radioactive” and “Chemical Hearts” are on the discharge schedule for Amazon Studios, in addition to movies that presently have a TBD launch date, corresponding to “Sound of Metal” (a Sundance acquisition final 12 months), “The Vast of Night” and “Louis Wain.”

The company supply instructed TheWrap that one more reason why movies may not be promoting as quick this 12 months is as a result of most of the buzziest movies got here to the pageant with distribution already in place. “Overall, there are less titles for sale,” the company supply mentioned. “More than ever, a lot of films came in with distribution, so there’s a lot of less product available.”

“Promising Young Woman,” for instance, is already arrange at Searchlight Pictures, however is likely one of the most talked-about movies in Park City. The indie veteran, now a division of Disney, can also be premiering “Downhill,” starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Numerous movies additionally pre-sold within the days and weeks earlier than the pageant even began: “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics, Netflix nabbed “Mucho Mucho Amor” and Music Box Films purchased Haifaa Al-Mansour’s “The Perfect Candidate.”

Similarly, product didn’t promote fairly as quick and for as a lot cash on the Toronto International Film Festival in September as many brokers had anticipated, and a few movies nonetheless bought 4 months later. However, Toronto is named launchpad for movies that have already got distribution, so some insiders are questioning whether or not…

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