The 2020 Sundance Film Festival gets underway today, and it has been the toughest market to handicap in a good long time. Conversations with buyers and sellers point to a lack of obvious star power in the slate of pictures available for acquisition. It could well be a quiet market, meaning that the sums could be modest with dealmaking for most films lingering beyond the festival. Toronto was that way last fall, but that festival held the promise of the splashy Hugh Jackman-Allison Janney film Bad Education, which scored an HBO deal that came in just below the $17.5 Birth of a Nation deal that still holds the Sundance record. If there is a film like that here, it was pre-bought and comes into Sundance with distribution. There are 27 films entering the festival with distribution, compared with 22 last year. Related Story That doesn’t mean that the Sundance market won’t pop with a handful of big deals, particularly when there are established and emerging streamers hungry for finished films to place on OTT services jockeying for consumer bucks. Some predicted last year’s market would be slow, but Amazon drove the commerce with a spate of 8-figure deals for the… Read full this story
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