Sundance 2012 Sales: Nicholas Jarecki's 'Arbitrage' and 'Red Lights'
by Alex Billington
January 25, 2012
Three more major Sundance acquisitions to report on. Deals at the festival seem to be picking up steam as the fest continues, with three films that premiered over the last weekend landing distributors. First up, one of my personal favorites, Nicholas Jarecki's New York-set legal/financial thriller Arbitrage, was acquired by Roadside Attractions & Lionsgate for $2.5 million. Glad to hear, as it's a film that I will happily follow and support up to its release. Next up, Rodrigo Cortés' controversial Red Lights starring Robert De Niro was acquired by Millennium Entertainment. One other film from the fest is also nearing a deal. Read on!
Though details are a bit hazy at the moment, Variety is reporting that The Weinstein Company is looking to make their first acquisition of the fest in Stephen Frears' Lay the Favorite, starring Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis and Joshua Jackson. But they say "sources caution that an initial offer didn't pan out, no deal has closed and there are issues yet to work on." Not to mention this is one of the films that is getting some of the worst buzz of the festival, as I heard most hated it and I haven't heard from a single person who liked it. For example, check out Jordan Raup's scathing review of this "by-the-numbers, hollow... un-cinematic story."
As for Red Lights, the new Rodrigo Cortes (of Buried) thriller starring Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Elizabeth Olsen and Robert De Niro, the ending has been polarizing audiences, leaving most with a bad taste in their mouth. I, on the other hand, loved the film up until the ending and appreciate Cortes' filmmaking, as he did a great job creating this fascinating supernatural-esque thriller, but the ending is indeed a bit odd. Nicholas Jarecki's Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere as a billionaire on a downward spiral, will come out of the fest as one of the films that I can't wait to see again, and I'm glad it got a distributor as it may be one of the films that takes off in theaters breaking out from the fest once released. Stay tuned for more updates.