In an unprecedented wave of buying led by Paramount Vantage and Fox Searchlight, the specialty divisions of major studios and other distributors picked up nearly a dozen movies at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday and Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Wednesday). Nearly all the films have sold for $3 million or more. Rich Klubeck of United Talent Agency told the newspaper that the buying spree occurred after virtually no deals were made over the weekend. "Not only have I not seen this kind of activity, but for it to take off this quickly -- the first two days nothing sold, and then the movies started playing, people liked them, and everything started selling," he said. Cassian Elwes of the William Morris Agency said that buyers have been keeping an eye on the Internet to glean reaction to the films. "The bloggers are going up with reactions in minutes, and the trades [Variety and The Hollywood Reporter] are doing instant reviews," Elwes said. "So the buyers already know what audiences are thinking." Variety reported that bidding was particularly intense over the British film Son of Rambow, after it premiered Monday night. Paramount Vantage ultimately won the distribution rights for $8 million. A short time later, the Weinstein Co. and Fox Searchlight jointly paid $5 million to buy a drama about Mexican immigrants titled La Misma Luna.
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