Sundance Business Picks Up

After a seemingly dead first few days, some big money purchases took place at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday.

The biggest by far was Focus Features picking up worldwide rights to the high school satire “Hamlet 2” for about $10 million – one of the biggest sales in the history of Sundance.

Steve Coogan stars as an overly dramatic drama teacher who attempts to salvage his high school theater department by staging a controversial sequel to Shakespeare’s play.

Meanwhile, Fox Searchlight picked up North American and most worldwide territory rights to Clark Gregg’s black comedy “Choke” for $5 million.

Adapted from “Fight Club” author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, it follows a sex addict (Sam Rockwell) who fakes choking in expensive restaurants to worm his way into the lives of their rich patrons. After many narrative films received only mixed reviews at the fest, Choke’s very positive reaction at a Monday night screening lead to the quick pickup.

Paramount Vantage was also said to be close to a deal on worldwide rights to Nanette Burstein’s documentary “American Teen” which drew rave reviews over the weekend, whilst Overture Films is in final negotiations to acquire U.S. rights to Mark Pellington’s Luke Wilson-led dramedy “Henry Poole Is Here.”