Tribeca To Close Fest With John Carney Pic Formerly Known As ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’ – What’s Up With Name Change?

songJohn Carney‘s comedy was known by the much more intriguing title Can A Song Save Your Life? when it was one of the buzz titles last fall at its Toronto Film Festival premiere. That’s where The Weinstein Company Read More »

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Toronto 2013: Late Nights And Lotsa Deals; First Seller’s Market Since The Crash?

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 11:45am PDT
Mike Fleming

The sales market at the Toronto Film Festival was the healthiest and most vigorous that I can remember, certainly since that barren year when the prestige film bubble burst and the sole festival sale was the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man. During the first five days at least of this Toronto, there was deal action going into the wee hours of the morning. One quality, crowd-pleasing acquisition title after another un-spooled each night and then distributors were left trying to restrain themselves from going past their sober revenue projections as they tried to fill holes in 2014 slates.

At last count, around 28 Toronto films have sold in deals large and small, agents tell me. I thought the biggest challenge for sellers would be to get distributors to focus because of the inordinate amount of titles they launched into the Oscar race with lavish Toronto premieres. Instead, the biggest challenge for sellers, and buyers for that matter, was stamina. We are all getting older, and pretty much everyone was walking around like zombies after taking part Friday and Saturday in the fest’s biggest deals—Focus paying $7 million for world rights to the Jason Bateman-directed comedy Bad Words, and The Weinstein Company paying $7 million and $20 million in P&A for U.S. rights to the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life?

Dare I say that Toronto was the first seller’s market in as long as I can remember? I asked the top agents at the three most prolific deal making agencies if that was true. None of them were cocky enough to use the “S” word, but all three of them said they expect to clear their considerable inventories by the end of next week. Even if nothing got done until the time everyone but insomniacs are asleep.
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Toronto: All Nighter Ends With Weinstein Co In Exclusive Talks For ‘Can A Song Save Your Life’ Rights: $7M + $20M P&A

Mike Fleming

2ND UPDATE, 2:25 AM PT: After an all night auction, The Weinstein Company is nearing a deal to acquire U.S. rights to the John Carney-directed Can A Song Read More »

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Toronto 2013: Will Deals Take Back Seat As Buyers Focus On Fest Oscar Hopefuls?

Mike Fleming

iThe Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate. Today, the acquisitions market should get going with the first screening of the Jason Bateman-directed comedy Bad Words and Saturday’s premiere of Once helmer John Carney’s Can A Song Save Your Life?

Related: Toronto: Festival Dives Into WikiLeaks Controversy With Powerful ‘Fifth Estate’

Toronto has long served a dual role as a global platform to launch prestige films into the Oscar race, as well as a place where distributors can bolster slates with acquisitions of finished films that need someone to release them. The odd thing about this year’s marketplace: the biggest challenge facing sellers is to get the major buyers to focus, because they are so preoccupied with the films they are launching in the Oscar race from Toronto that dealmaking is a distant second on the priority level. Whether it’s The Weinstein Company, Sony Pictures Classics, Fox Searchlight, CBS Films or Focus Features, everybody has a viable Oscar horse. Frankly, there is less early chit-chat about deal prospects than there is about how the end-of-year releases of Oscar corridor films will be as crowded and brutally competitive as the summer season that just passed. There are way more films platforming and playing through the winter than was the cast last year. Just as some worthy summer blockbusters underperformed because of the onslaught, upcoming prestige films will be under extreme pressure to perform.

Here, the major distributors that have the funds to create bidding battles have tons of product at Toronto. SPC’s Michael Barker and Tom Bernard have nine movies playing, and TWC’s Harvey Weinstein has six. The challenge facing sellers will be to get those buyers to wrap their arms around new product that will fill slate holes in 2014. Everybody is loaded for bear for the fall and early winter. This won’t be a replay of the times past, when films like Shame, The Wrestler and Rabbit Hole were acquired and launched from festivals right into Oscar season.

Related: Toronto 2013: How Did Last Year’s Films Do?
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Cee Lo Green In ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’

By | Thursday June 28, 2012 @ 10:32am PDT

Cee Lo Green Can A Song Save Your Life?Cee Lo Green has joined the cast of “Can A Song Save Your Life?”, the romantic drama written and being directed by … Read More »

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Catherine Keener Joins ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’

By | Tuesday June 26, 2012 @ 2:02pm PDT

Catherine Keener Can A Song Save Your LifeEXCLUSIVE: Catherine Keener has joined the cast of Can A Song Save Your Life? She joins Mark Ruffalo, hot off his stint as the Hulk in Marvel’s The Avengers, and Keira Knightley in … Read More »

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Tony Winner James Corden Lands Paul Potts Pic And ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’

By | Monday June 18, 2012 @ 11:01am PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fresh from his Best Actor Tony Award for One Man, Two Guvnors, James Corden has booked two strong film roles. Corden has signed on to join the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life, which stars … Read More »

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‘The Voice’s Adam Levine To Star In ‘Can A Song Save Your Life?’

By | Thursday June 14, 2012 @ 4:42pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Adam Levine, the lead singer of Maroon 5 and a judge on The Voice, has landed a lead role in Can A Song Save Your Life. That is the next film by director John Carney, who directed the film … Read More »

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