Sony Pictures Classics Buys Moon from Sony Pictures
by Alex Billington
January 23, 2009
Before Sundance had even begun, Sony Pictures had already picked up the sci-fi film Moon, but not as the distributor. Instead, they operated as the sales rep for the film, giving it the extra edge it needed to eventually find the right buyer. It was announced today that Sony Pictures Classics, the independent arm of Sony, has decided to pick it up for distribution. The indie studio is planning to debut Moon in theaters starting in late June. "I have always hoped for the opportunity to work with Sony Pictures Classics on the distribution of our film, even before arriving at Sundance," director Duncan Jones told Variety.
Although Moon was one of the first films most journalists saw at Sundance, it still remains one of the films that I know all of us really enjoyed. I gave it a solid 8.5 out of 10 in my review. Sam Rockwell plays an astronaut finishing the last few weeks of a three-year contracted job mining on the moon, when he starts to see things. It's definitely a film that I can't wait for audiences to see. Let's hope SPC knows what they're doing with Moon, because I'm worried they were only the "last resort" buyer and are just planning to dump it in the middle of the summer without a big push. Honestly, his film deserves a lot better than that.
This is the fourth major purchase for Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance this year. They also bought Tyson, Rudo y Cursi, and An Education, in addition to Moon. Last year, after both Baghead and The Wackness were picked by SPC, we wrote a scathing article examining the indie studio's consistent box office failure when handling great indie films. It turns out our complaints were justified, as those two films went on to make only $140,000 and $2 million respectively in their box office runs. Don't expect anything different this year, as it looks like they're going to bury Moon just the same. At least everyone will get to see it.