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TIFF 11 Acquisitions Recap: Best Gross ‘Salmon’ at $9 million

TIFF 11 Acquisitions Recap: Best Gross 'Salmon' at $9 million

As acquisitions execs tally up their buys for Toronto Film Fest 2012, they would do well to note how the movies that were acquired here last year fared in release.

Nearly 150 of the 267 feature films shown at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival were pre-bought by distributors for stateside play or acquired sometime after they screened (either for theatrical TV, cable, VOD and/or DVD). Three significant hits and Oscar contenders did gain a serious PR boost from their TIFF exposure — “The Artist,” “The Descendants” and “Moneyball.” But the track record for films that came into the festival without a sale was spotty. In fact, only 11 films which were bought out of Toronto have grossed over $100,000 so far – not an encouraging figure for those with hopes of finding gold this year.

Top 20 US-Canada grosses/all Toronto 2011 films – rank/title/distributor/section/gross in millions

1. The Descendants – Fox Searchlight/Special Presentations/82.6

2. Moneyball – Sony/Gala/75.6

3. The Artist – Weinstein/Special Presentations/44.7

4. The Ides of March – Sony/Gala/41.0

5. Drive – Film District/Special Presentations/35.1

6. 50/50 – Summit/Special Presentations/35.0

7. Killer Elite – Open Road/Gala/25.1

8. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – CBS/Special Presentation/9.0

9. Friends With Kids – Roadside Attractions-Lionsgate (partners)/Special Presentation/7.3

10. A Separation – Sony Pictures Classics/Contemporary World Cinema/7.1

11. A Dangerous Method – Sony Pictures Classics/Gala/5.7

12. Anonymous – Sony/Gala/4.5

13. Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Paramount/Special Presentation/4.3

14. Goon – Magnolia/Special Presentation/4.2

15. The Raid: Redemption – Sony Pictures Classics/Midnight Madness/4.1

16. Shame – Fox Searchlight/Special Presentations/3.9

17. Pina – IFC/Masters/3.5

18. Like Crazy – Paramount/Special Presentations/3.4

19. The Skin I Live In – Sony Pictures Classics/Special Presentations/3.2

20. Albert Nobbs – Roadside Attractions/Gala/3.0

Top 10 US-Canada grosses/Acquired at or after Toronto 2011 – rank/title/distributor/section/gross in millions

1. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen – CBS/Special Presentation/9.0

2. Friends With Kids – Roadside Attractions-Lionsgate (partners)/Special Presentation/7.3

3. Jeff, Who Lives at Home – Paramount/Special Presentation/4.3

4. Goon – Magnolia/Special Presentation/4.2

5. The Raid: Redemption – Sony Pictures Classics/Midnight Madness/4.1

6. Shame – Fox Searchlight/Special Presentation/3.9  *****

7. Monsieur Lazhar – Music Box/Special Presentation/2.0 (U.S. gross only)

8. The Deep Blue Sea – Music Box/Special Presentation/1.1

9. Where Do We Go Now? – Sony Pictures Classics/Special Presentation/0.5

10. The Hunter – Magnolia/Special Presentation/0.2

*****Sony Pictures Worldwide had acquired this earlier in 2011, but Sony Pictures Classics was announced as the US distributor after its Toronto showing

17 of the 20 top grossing films showed as either Galas or Special Presentations, with the other three from Contemporary World Cinema, Masters and Midnight Madness. Nine of the top 10 acquisitions were also Special Presentations, the other from Midnight Madness. This was an unusually top heavy showing for limited categories. In past years it has been common for films from other categories – Reel to Real (the documentary section, now called TFF Docs), Discoveries, Visions (now collapsed into other categories), as well as more numerous films from those which had little or no commercial after life among the 2011 films.

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