Sundance 2015 Acquisitions: Fox Searchlight Makes Record Breaking Deal for ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, and More

     January 26, 2015


Here’s the breakdown of the latest Sundance 2015 Film Festival pictures that have been acquired for distribution:

  • Fox Searchlight and Indian Paintbrush have teamed up to acquire worldwide rights to Me and Earl and the Dying Girl for a record-breaking $12 million deal. The film is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon from the Black List screenplay by Jesse Andrews, adapted from his book. Thomas Mann, RJ Cyler, Olivia Cooke, Nick Offerman, Connie Britton and Molly Shannon star in the film about a loner coasting through his senior year of high school until his mother forces him to befriend a girl dying of leukemia.
  • Open Road Films and Sony Pictures have secured the rights to the fresh new comedy Dope for $7 Million after a heated bidding war. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa, the film centers on a group of high school outcasts living in a rough L.A. neighborhood who are enamored of ’90s hip hop.
  • The raunchy sex comedy The Overnight has landed with emerging indie distributor The Orchard for a $4 Million pricetag. Executive Produced by Mark and Jay Duplass, The Overnight stars Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman and Taylor Schilling.
  • IFC Films has picked up U.S. rights to The D Train, directed by Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel the film stars Jack Black and James Marsden as two guys putting together their high school reunion. The film also stars Kathryn Hahn, Jeffrey Tambor, Mike White, and Kyle Bornheimer.

Check out the full press releases for The Overnight and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Below:

The Overnight

the-overnight-taylor-schillingPARK CITY, UT (January 26, 2015) – The Orchard announced today that the company is acquiring North American distribution rights to THE OVERNIGHT for a traditional theatrical release nationwide later this year. THE OVERNIGHT, written and directed by Patrick Brice, premiered in Dramatic Competition at Sundance on Friday, and has become one of the most talked about films of the festival. The Orchard acquired the film after a fierce bidding war with multiple suitors.  The company has committed to an aggressive P&A spend to support a wide theatrical release.

THE OVERNIGHT, which was produced by Gettin’ Rad and Duplass Brothers, stars the fun-loving foursome of Adam Scott, Taylor Schilling, Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche. Scott and Schilling play a young couple new to Los Angeles, who spend an increasingly bizarre evening with the parents of their son’s new friend.

THE ORCHARD, a pioneering music company, recently ramped up a film division and began distributing narrative and documentary films theatrically in 2014.   THE OVERNIGHT is its most high-profile acquisition to date. Other upcoming releases for THE ORCHARD include WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS starring Jemaine Clement and the acclaimed fashion documentary DIOR AND I, which will be released theatrically on over 150 screens in April.

The Duplass Brothers said, “Jay and I have made our careers by doing things our own way, and The Orchard is a group of young, smart pioneers who blew us away with their bold, passionate approach to taking this film into the world.”

Producers Adam and Naomi Scott said “For Gettin’ Rad’s first feature, we couldn’t have asked for better collaborators than our friends Patrick, Mark and Jay. Our good fortune continues with this new partnership with The Orchard, a bunch of insanely smart and cool people. We will never stop high-fiving.”

Patrick Brice said “You bring a movie to Sundance with the desire that maybe a few people will connect with it. The fact that it’s now going to play in theaters across the country is beyond my wildest hopes and dreams. You’ll have to excuse me while I throw up from excitement.”

“We were obsessed with The Overnight from the minute we laid eyes on it,” said The Orchards SVP Film and TV Paul Davidson.  “It’s a rare intelligent comedy backed up by an even rarer team of smart, passionate filmmakers.  We are thrilled to be a part of it.”

THE OVERNIGHT, Patrick Brice’s second feature is a painfully funny take on thirty-something sexual frustration and parenthood. Featuring memorable lead performances by Schilling, Scott, Schwartzman, and Godrèche, THE OVERNIGHT tells a complex story of universal inadequacies.

The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo for THE ORCHARD with ICM Partners and Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers in cooperation with WME Global.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

me-and-earl-and-the-dying-girl-thomas-mannPARK CITY, UT January 26, 2015 – Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula announced today that the company has partnered with Indian Paintbrush for worldwide distribution on the poignant coming of age story ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, which received a standing ovation following its Sundance Film Festival debut.  The film is directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon from the Black List screenplay by Jesse Andrews, adapted from his eponymous novel.  The film stars Thomas Mann, Olivia Cook, R.J. Cyler with Nick Offerman, Molly Shannon, Jon Bernthal and Connie Britton.  The film is produced by Steven Rales, Dan Fogelman and Jeremy Dawson with Nora Skinner as executive producer.  The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released in 2015.


“We are so thrilled to be a part of this film – the movie completely floored us and stole our hearts.  The response at the festival has been extraordinary.  The performances are honest and relatable and the film is smart, funny and original,” said Gilula and Utley.


“On behalf of the filmmaking team, we are thrilled to be partnering with Fox Searchlight. Steve, Nancy and the team have such a great emotional connection to our movie and we are confident our film is in the best hands moving forward,” said producers Rales, Fogelman and Dawson.


“For a film that was such a personal labor of love, I am delighted to find partners who have embraced the film which such enthusiasm,” said director Gomez-Rejon.


In ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, Thomas Mann plays Greg Gaines, an awkward high school senior whose mom forces him to spend time with Rachel – a girl in his class (Olivia Cooke) whom he hasn’t spoken to since kindergarten – who was just diagnosed with cancer.


The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Senior Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Acquisitions Tony Safford, and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache, and Indian Paintbrush’s Peter McPartlin and Deborah Wettstein, who represented the filmmakers, and Alexis Garcia from WME who represented the film.


Indian Paintbrush is a film development/production/finance company based in Santa Monica. Among its many films are Wes Anderson’s last four pictures (three of which were distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures) THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, MOONRISE KINGDOM, FANTASTIC MR FOX and DARJEELING LIMITED as well as Jason Reitman’s LABOR DAY and Jay and Mark Duplass’ JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME.


Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and its films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 20th Century Fox Film.

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