Streamers Buy Big At Sundance 2017

Both “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” and “Crown Heights” won the top jury and audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend.

In doing so they’ve also made history as both have deals in place to be distributed exclusively through a streaming service – Netflix has ‘World’ while Amazon has ‘Crown’. Indeed both Netflix and Amazon shelled out big money and snapped up films left and right both before and during this year’s festival.

Netflix scored Dee Rees’ Southern drama “Mudbound” for $12.5 million, Marti Noxon’s anorexia drama “To the Bone” for $8 million, Cate Shortland’s psychological thriller “Berlin Syndrome,” the drama “The Discovery,” comedies like “Fun Mom Dinner” and “The Incredible Jessica James,” and a bunch of documentaries including “Chasing Coral,” “Casting JonBenet,” “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower,” “Icarus” and “Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press”.

Meanwhile Amazon nabbed Kumail Nanjiani’s relationship comedy “The Big Sick” for $12 million, the four-hour Grateful Dead doco “Long Strange Trip” for $6 million, Gillian Robespierre’s “Landline” for $3 million, and Matthew Heineman’s ISIS doc “City of Ghosts” for just over $2 million.

More traditional distributors also made waves. Fox Searchlight paid $9.5 million for rap comedy “Patti Cake$” and $4 million for the Scott Rudin-produced dance favorite “Step”. A24 nabbed David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. IFC picked up thriller “Killing Ground”.

Sony Pictures Classics scored “Call Me By Your Name” before the film screened, the Mark Hamill comedy “Brigsby Bear,” and the Vatican nun thriller “Novitiate”. Focus Features acquired Cory Finley’s thriller “Thoroughbred” for $5 million. New upstart Neon, co-run by Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League, scored three titles including “Beach Rats,” “Roxanne Roxanne” and “Ingrid Goes West”.

Bleecker Street scored Mark Pellington’s “Nostalgia,” Roadside Attractions nabbed Miguel Arteta & Mike White’s dramedy “Beatriz at Dinner,” Gravitas Ventures acquired the doco “Legion of Brothers,” FilmRise nabbed rural drama “Dayveon,” RLJ Entertainment scored the action-thriller “Bushwick,” Kino Lorber took “Pop Aye,” the Orchard acquired Sam Elliott starrer “The Hero” and the hunting documentary “Trophy”, and finally Gunpowder & Sky picked up the dysfunctional Tuscany convent film “The Little Hours”.