Hamlet 2, American Teen Among First Big Deals at Sundance

Buying started slow at Sundance this year, but things started picking up on Tuesday. Check out a rundown of some recent acquisitions:


  • Hamlet 2, which stars Steve Coogan as a high school drama teacher, sold to Focus Features for $10 million — making it one of the biggest deals ever in the history of Sundance and putting it in the same league as Little Miss Sunshine. I didn't get to see this one, though the screenings for it at Sundance have been packed.
  • Another one of the first non-documentary feature films to be picked up was Henry Poole Is Here, which sold for about $4 million on Monday night. I couldn't be happier about this one; it's an uplifting story with some fine performances — particularly by Luke Wilson and Adriana Barraza. It even includes one of my new favorite movie lines.

  • The documentary American Teen was another hot property, selling to Paramount Vantage for $1 million. I was actually at a morning screening for this when the news of this acquisition broke, which was very exciting. The documentary was made by filmmaker Nanette Burstein and follows four teens at an Indiana high school throughout their senior year. During the Q&A after the screening, Burstein said she chose a school in the Midwest because she felt there was "an innocence and a timelessness" to that area. Stay tuned for more of my thoughts on this film!
  • The black comedy Choke, based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel, sold for about $5 million.

P.S. — I took that picture myself!

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