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Sundance Deal Precedent: Relativity Media Pact For Joseph Gordon-Levitt-Helmed Comedy ‘Don Jon’s Addiction’: $4 Mill Upfront, $25 Million P&A For Summer Release

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Relativity Media has confirmed the Don Jon’s Addiction deal, and I’ll run the announcement below the original break of the story. In terms of the precedent-setting amount, other buyers have helpfully reminded me of Sundance films like Happy Texas, Hustle & Flow, and The Spitfire Grill. There was also a rather large P&A commitment that went for the wide release genre film Splice. Several of those didn’t work out well and Relativity will have to gross $35 million or more on this film to make the numbers work here, but it’s a bold statement-making play, and maybe it will pay off.

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline told you first that Relativity Media had placed a bid that was blowing everybody out of the water on Don Jon’s Addiction, the directorial debut of Joseph Gordon-Levitt that has had brisk buyer interest since it premiered. I’m hearing that Relativity Media is wrapping up what will be an historic, precedent-setting deal for a Sundance film, harkening to the days when distributors spent big big bucks here. Word I’m hearing is they are paying the $4 million minimum guarantee I’ve mentioned before, but that there is a whopping $25 million P&A for a summer release on 2000 screens. Yowza! That meets or surpasses marks for a biggest Sundance (non-genre film) total deal — and biggest domestic deal because this is not for the world. It is for U.S. only. I’m sure if that’s awry, my commenters will tell me and we’ll set the record straight if this didn’t beat the record.

Related: Sundance Q&A: Joseph Gordon-Levitt On His ‘Don Jon’s Addiction’ Read More »

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Sundance: Agents Party Before All Night Dealmaking Gets Market Going; Is Relativity Paying Big For ‘Don Jon?’

By | Monday January 21, 2013 @ 10:20am PST
Mike Fleming

Agencies CAA, WME and UTA held their parties last night, but forgive the dealmakers for being distracted. They worked late into the night trying to close deals. Deadline told you last night that FilmDistrict (with Exclusive Media) was zeroing in on Austenland, a deal that would have closed last night if not for the fact that producer and Twilight Saga author Stephenie Meyer and director Jerusha Hess are Mormon and they apparently don’t focus on business on the holy day (I’m envious). UPDATE: That deal isn’t going to make, and the sellers will close elsewhere, possibly with Fox Searchlight.

Other deals that were all-nighters and are still going include Fruitvale, which had The Weinstein Company leading the pack and Searchlight, Paramount and Focus Features and CBS Films also in the mix for a deal that will ring up around $2 million or more and a nice theatrical release for this gem of a movie. WME Global is handling that one. Read More »

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Sundance: Fleming Q&As Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Buyers Circle His Helming Debut ‘Don Jon’s Addiction’

Mike Fleming

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been a continuing source of surprise. After reinventing himself from 3rd Rock From the Sun child actor to the adult star of indie films Brick and The Lookout and studio blockbusters Lincoln, The Dark Knight Rises and Inception, Gordon-Levitt unveils a new side of himself in Park City as debut writer/director of Don Jon’s Addiction. A squarely R-rated comedy about a buff young ladies man who connects better to computer porn than his conquests, the film humorously explores the obstacles to honest emotional intimacy. Sundance sales so far have been limited to docus, as buyers and sellers circle each other warily. I expect that to end by tonight or tomorrow, when buyers begin to pounce on films like Fruitvale, Austenland, The Spectacular Now, Before Midnight, Prince Avalanche and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Don Jon’s Addiction might well be atop the buyer wish list, but Gordon-Levitt is not in a hurry. He’s here all week — hosting next Sunday’s awards ceremony — and will hold out longer if needed until a distributor that agrees his first film has wide release potential. I spoke to Gordon-Levitt Saturday night as he returned to his condo after a long day answering questions about masturbation and Batman.

DEADLINE: You grew up acting, and then took a break to go to college and figure things out. When you decided to Read More »

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Sundance: How Was Friday Night? And How Did Last Year’s Festival Films Do In Theaters?

Mike Fleming

Friday night, the first one loaded with the big acquisition titles that forced distributors to scatter their teams to cover all the screenings, gave buyers buyers a lot to think about this morning. I haven’t heard of much action so far (outside of Sundance Selects’ closing a deal for The Summit, the Nick Ryan-directed pic about the attempt by 24 climbers to scale K2, with half of them dying. Just walking up Main Street here makes that an understandable outcome). Everybody’s itching for these deals to start rolling, but sellers are not being hasty. It is hard to land big buck upfront deals, and so they are being extra cautious to extract commitments from potential distributors to make sure these films get a chance to play, with all the platforms available to turn a buck. I saw Don Jon’s Addiction, the writing/directing debut of rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who with this film adds another dimension to what is becoming a most unpredictable and intriguing career path. For one thing, his aerobicized frame and onscreen bedroom prowess here has to put him on the short list for the lead role in Fifty Shades of Grey, if that is something he’s even interested in. Don Jon’s Addiction is funny, but Gordon-Levitt plays a buff computer porn addict who gets more gratification from logging on than from his prolific boozy bedroom encounters. Let’s just say a sponsorship from a facial tissue company … Read More »

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Fest Films With Highest Wanna-See From Buyers: Mike Fleming On 2013 Sundance

Mike Fleming

Related: Part I: Sundance Forecast: Small Deals Galore, And More Chances For Filmmakers

Foot traffic on Main Street is building, and the deals are starting to go down. In the second part of my 2013 Sundance Film Festival opener, here are the films that have been mentioned most often by the buyers who’ll determine whether or not this will be a good festival for the filmmakers. There are some good-sounding films with strong casts, the kind that ring up decent numbers.

DON JON’S ADDICTION:  Writer-director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cast: Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly. Gordon-Levitt plays a porn addict who becomes torn between two women. This one premieres tonight, 6:30 PM at Eccles, and it will likely be the fest’s first real auction.

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS: Writer-director: David Lowery. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine. The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Killer title and good cast. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 12:15pm – Eccles

Related: Sundance: Five Actors & Actresses To Watch

THE WAY, WAY BACK: Writer-director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash. Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph. An introverted 14-year-old comes into his own over the course of a comedic summer when he forms unlikely friendships with the gregarious manager of a rundown water park and the misfits who work there. Carell’s last festival film like this was Little Miss Sunshine. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 3:30pm – Eccles

BREATHE IN: Writer-director: Drake Doremus. Cast: Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, Felicity Jones, Mackenzie Davis. A teacher falls for one of his students, the one who just transferred from London. Doremus and Jones reteam from Like Crazy. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 3:00pm – Eccles

Related: Sundance: Five Directors To Watch

BEFORE MIDNIGHT: Writer-director: Richard Linklater (written with Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke). Sure it might be the lowest-grossing film franchise in film history, but buyers are sparked for the third installment which picks up Jesse and Celine nine years later in Greece, some two decades after they first met on a train bound for Vienna. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 9:45pm – Eccles

THE LIFEGUARD: Writer-director: Liz W. Garcia. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Amy Madigan. Bell plays an ex-valedictorian who bails on her journo job in Gotham to return to her last happy place. That’s the family home in Connecticut, and she gets a lifeguard job and falls into a dangerous relationship with a troubled teen. 1st Screening – Saturday, January 19th, 5:30pm – Library

THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN: Director: Fredrik Bond. Writer, Matt Drake. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, Til Schweiger. Countryman is a young man who’s traveling abroad. When he falls for a beauty he becomes determined to find his way into her heart. That means  taking brutal punishment from her violent ex. 1st Screening – Monday, January 21st, 6:30pm – Eccles

PRINCE AVALANCHE: Writer-director: David Gordon Green. Cast: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind. 1st Screening – Sunday, January 20th, 2:30pm – Library

Related: Sundance: Five Producers To Watch Read More »

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Don Jon’s Addiction’ Selected For Berlin Panorama

The Berlin Film Festival has unveiled the first titles for 2013′s Panorama section. The sidebar will include works from European, Asian, Latin and North American filmmakers. Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s feature directorial debut Don Jon’s Addiction will have its international premiere in Berlin after it debuts at Sundance in January. Fellow Sundance premiere Lovelace, from directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, will also make its offshore bow in Berlin. The section screens dramatic and documentary features and this year adds the $5,000 Heiner Carow Prize for “a film that employs extraordinary aesthetic means to deal with social and political issues, past or present.” Following is the list of confirmed Panorama titles to date: Read More »

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