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Will All the New Streamers Boost Sales?

The Toronto International Film Festival kicks off this week simply as a clutch of recent streaming providers from Disney and WarnerMedia and Apple and Comcast put together to launch.

As a outcome, gross sales brokers and conventional indie distributors are bracing themselves for the impression this new set of content material firms could have on the indie movie market.

“As more streaming services enter the market, the landscape becomes more competitive for theatrical distributors and streamers alike, co-head of UTA Independent Film Group Rena Ronson told TheWrap. “This shift began when Netflix first emerged on the scene, and theatrical distributors subsequently had to become more aggressive in order to compete.”

Several gross sales brokers and consumers mentioned {the marketplace} heading into Toronto is “healthy” and “robust,” as a result of each firm is searching for prime content material for 2020. But though distributors might be vying for a similar titles, many insiders don’t count on the hefty value tags seen at Sundance earlier this 12 months — the place 4 titles offered for between $13 million and $15 million.

“It’s going to be an even playing field,” Kristen Konvitz, an agent within the worldwide and impartial movie group at ICM Partners, mentioned. “There are a lot of films — awards-worthy, art-house, genre, etc. — and everyone is in need of compelling content and actively looking for content. It seems pretty healthy and optimistic even though it’s been an uncertain year.”

One signal of warning is how few of the big-ticket Sundance acquisitions have linked with audiences. A24 nabbed Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” for someplace between $6 million and $7 million and has watched the drama gross $16 million to date in theaters.

But Amazon Studios, which spent huge in Sundance, has seen extra modest returns: Mindy Kaling’s “Late Night” topped out at $15.5 million domestically in theaters after a $13 million Sundance buy, whereas the $14 million acquisition “Brittany Runs a Marathon” has earned $637,000 within the first two weeks of its extra gradual rollout, with extra theaters to be added this weekend. The firm spent one other $14 million in Park City for the upcoming Adam Driver drama “The Report.” (An Amazon spokesperson informed TheWrap that the corporate doesn’t measure the success of its movies via field workplace solely, but in addition via the movie’s life on Prime Video — the place “Late Night” begins streaming this Friday.)

Meanwhile, WarnerMedia’s New Line Cinema paid $15 million for the British feel-good drama “Blinded by the Light” to see simply $10.6 million in ticket gross sales in its first three weeks.

“Obviously, Sundance was extremely active with big aggressive sales — some of the films have performed, and some haven’t done so well,” mentioned Mikey Schwartz-Wright, an agent at UTA Independent Film Group.

As a outcome, ICM companions movie finance agent Oliver Wheeler mentioned, “The buyers are probably going to be a little more conservative in terms of the buy-in prices. I don’t think we’re going to have those record-breaking prices that we saw at Sundance.”

However, Saban Films President Bill Bromiley mentioned that he thinks there might be “people with big pocket books ready to spend big money. The lineup for the festival includes a lot of commercial product ripe for the picking. I think you are going to see a lot of deals there, because it seems like an active marketplace.”

Few have pockets as deep as the foremost streaming providers. While Netflix has been shopping for much less and fewer at each competition, partly attributable to its ever-growing unique manufacturing slate, the streaming large stays energetic in documentary acquisitions. At Sundance, the streamer purchased “Knock Down the House,” that includes Rep. Alexandra…

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