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How much is that movie worth?Buyers don't have a good comparison right now

At the European Film Market in Berlin, which ended in February 22, the independent film industry came back alive and closed a lot of deals.

Amazon Prime Video Takes International Rights to AGC Studio’s The Order, Jude Law and Nicholas Hoult White supremacist thriller from

Assassin’s Creed director Justin Kurzel; and, in a deal with sales agency Rocket Science, Amazon gets a pirate-themed survival thriller The Bluff, starring Anthony and Zoe Saldaña under Joe Russo’s AGBO banner.

Black Bear International’s Nicolas Cage serial killer film Longlegs and Jamie Bell- Margaret Qualley music biopic Fred & Ginger. Buyers across Europe are flocking to Dogman, Luc Besson’s comeback film starring Caleb Landry Jones Jones, which Kinology is selling, with a domestic deal expected soon. Voltage’s Milli Vanilli biopic Girl You Know It’s True , produced by Germany’s Leonine Studios, has generated quite a bit of buzz.

But with the theater business in disarray — box office is slowly climbing in most countries, but not all demographics, and not yet close to pre-pandemic levels — the decision to make a movie Box office value for a film has never been tougher. “No one has any faith in dramatic productions anymore,” noted a senior sales agent. “The old model has fallen apart.”

In the past, international distributors could use a rough formula to determine a The lowest box office a film could achieve in their territory. It goes like this: “Genre plus stars plus director equals X.” An action thriller with a stellar cast is a safe bet. A nobodies serial or stand-alone comedy is very risky. Buyers will make “compensation”: Look at the box office of earlier similar projects (Liam Neeson’s last action thriller or Emma Thompson’s period drama) and make an offer.

However, post-COVID, successful titles are scarce and most independent films cannot secure a theatrical release. “If it wasn’t a Marvel or a horror movie, you probably wouldn’t be selling a theatrical movie,” notes Electric Entertainment’s Dean Devlin, who made indie-funded hits like Stargate and Independence Day, but now focusing on direct-to-TV and direct-to-stream shows like Syfy’s The Ark. “You’re going to have breakout success, but it’s hard to build a business off of that,” Devlin noted.

Indie films that feel different attract attention and buyers in Berlin. Tina Satter’s Reality is a drama about NSA whistleblower Reality Winner, starring Sydney Sweeney, based entirely on unedited FBI interrogations Records, is a hot topic on EFM. And Matt Johnson’s BlackBerry biographical comedy about the rise and fall of the once-proud smartphone company was snapped up by Paramount for most of its territory outside of North America.

“The trend seems to be that anything unusual or really unusual is going to get people out of the house and into theaters,” added a buyer for an American independent distributor. “Though anything generic is: ‘I’ll wait until it’s on Netflix.'”

Meanwhile, anchors — barring a few big-ticket purchases — are post-theater ancillary rights. Key Markets – Increasingly demanding mainstream fares. This has created a strange dynamic among buyers who want great original movies and mediocre fare (think “a Gerard Butler-type action movie”). And it’s the same movie. “They want films that they can typeset on, and on the other hand, they want something very original,” said Mimi Steinbauer of Radiant Films International. “I like: Pick a Lane ’”

This story first appeared in the February issue of Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe to .




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