Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Another day on the Croisette brings another major distribution deal. After an all-night auction, The Weinstein Company emerged with U.S. distribution rights to The Iron Lady, the Pathe pic that stars Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. I’m told the deal was worth near $7 million and that Weinstein Company made it with Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa banner. I’m also told that Alliance will distribute in Canada. I’d heard last night that the likes of Summit, Relativity Media and Fox Searchlight chased it. There were at least two bids on the table at $6 million.

Numerous bidders were in on the action after Pathe showed five minutes of footage here. Harvey Weinstein will definitely open the film during Oscar season, relying on another British politics tale after The King’s Speech won Best Picture honors last year. Weinstein, his lieutenant David Glasser and Burkle worked into the night to make the deal. It is the same partnership structure they employed when that made the Sundance acquisitions My Idiot Brother and The Details. For TWC, it has already been a busy fest. They acquired world rights to Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film before the fest started, made a quick acquisition of the black-and-white silent film The Artist, and they bought  the Chinese film Dragon, both official festival selections.

Streep reunites with her Mamma Mia! director Phyllida Lloyd in the Abi Morgan-scripted film that also stars Harry Lloyd, Richard E. Grant and Jim Broadbent.