Sony Pictures Classics has bought the worldwide rights to Italian director Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” ahead of the Sundance Film Festival. The movie reportedly attracted interest from several buyers and sold for a price in the low to mid-seven figures.
One of the hot acquisition titles at the festival identified by IndieWire last month, the film centers on the romance between an adolescent boy played by Timothée Chalamet (“Homeland”) and a summer guest (Armie Hammer) at his parents’ mansion on the Italian Riviera. Guadagnino previously directed 2015’s “A Bigger Splash” and 2009’s “I Am Love,” both of which starred Tilda Swinton.
“Call Me By Your Name” also stars Michael Stuhlbarg, who appeared in 2016 films “Arrival,” “Doctor Strange” and “Miss Sloane.”
The acquisition two weeks before Sundance begins is just the latest example of distributors buying up movies before festival bidding wars even have a chance to start. Increased competition from new entrants like Amazon has led to earlier purchases of films. Last May, Amazon entered the Cannes Film Festival already owning the rights to five titles at the fest.
Earlier this week, Netflix picked up the rights to Kitty Green’s anticipated Sundance documentary, “Casting JonBenet.”
If “Call Me By Your Name” attracts a large mainstream audience, it will be one of the few box office success stories in recent years centered on a gay romance.