The Hollywood Reporter has a roundup of all the films that were picked up for distribution at the Sundance 2012 Film Festival last month, including what companies bought them AND how much was paid for each.
Now… I should first say that, in my past experiences with filmmakers whose films were picked up at film festivals, I’d advise you not be in any rush to conclusions based on these figures; at least, I certainly wouldn’t assume that the filmmakers whose names are on THR’s list are now suddenly rich and their careers set for life!
And just how accurate/exact are these numbers? Who knows for sure, other than those directly involved. But it sure is fun to speculate :)
The filmmakers may not even see a cent of the money; or maybe just enough to pay off debts.
I remember talking to Scott Sanders a little while after an announcement was made that his Black Dynamite flick had been acquired at Sundance by Sony Pictures for some $2 million. He was sitting in his Los Angeles apartment perplexed, because, as he said, he didn’t even know about the purchase, so he was hearing it from me first, which I thought was strange yet funny! And he made a remark about returning home to stacks of bills waiting to be paid and not being 100% sure of where the money would even come from.
And I also remember chatting with Barry Jenkins and Dennis Dortch on a podcast at least a year after their feature debuts (Medicine For Melancholy and A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy respectively) had been acquired by prominent indie distribution companies, and released. One of the first questions I asked them both was, a year or two later, what life was like for them. Their responses were identical. Nothing much had changed; it was all still very much a struggle; I even remember Barry saying that he’d recently worked a construction job to earn some cash.
So… all that to emphasize what I said earlier; don’t be so taken in by what you read here that you rush to conclusions. It ain’t all gravy..
All that said… below you’ll find acquisition info for 4 films that debuted at Sundance this year that I saw at the festival and reviewed here as well, that were picked up by distribution companies:
Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap | The Indomina Group: $1 million-plus, worldwide rights
Beasts of the Southern Wild | Fox Searchlight: Nearly $1 million, U.S. rights
Middle of Nowhere | Participant Media and the African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement: Mid-six figures, U.S. rights
2 Days in New York | Magnolia Pictures: N/A, North American rights
No figures available for the last film.
You can see the full list HERE.