Berlin 2013: The Weinstein Co. Strikes Deal for U.S. Rights to Vampire Pic 'Blood Sisters'

7:22 AM PST 02/10/2013 by Pamela McClintock

The pact -- valued at north of $30 million -- gives Harvey Weinstein a potential YA franchise and is one of the biggest U.S. deals ever to come out of the annual film market in Berlin.

BERLIN -- Hoping for a franchise, The Weinstein Co. has won a bidding war for U.S. rights to Mark Waters' big-screen adaptation of Blood Sisters, the first book in Richelle Mead's best-selling Vampire Academy series.

Insiders say the deal is valued at north of $30 million, between the acquisition fee and marketing commitment. TWC struck the pact with financiers Reliance Entertainment and IM Global, and has a rolling option on subsequent installments. At least two Hollywood studios were bidding for U.S. rights to the movie, which stars Zooey Deutch, Lucy Fry and Danila Kozlovsky.

Blood Sisters -- set to hit theaters Feb. 14, 2014 -- is one of the biggest U.S. deals ever to emerge from the European Film Market in Berlin, which runs in conjunction with the Berlin International Film Festival. IM Global has sold the film to many key foreign territories as well, including to eOne in the UK, Universum in Germany, Metropolitan in France, West in CIS, Hoyts in Australia and New Zealand, eOne in Canada and Intercontinental in Hong Kong.

In Blood Sisters, Rose Hathaway develops a mental and spiritual bond with her "BVFF" (best vampire friend forever), Princess Lissa. The two girls attend a strict school for vampires designed to retain their humanity where it is Rose’s task to protect the Princess. Among the everyday issues faced by teenage vampires, Rose falls for Dimitri, their dreamy guardian, and together the three battle the mysterious forces of the evil Moroi who are set on destroying the Princess’ bloodline.‬

Blood Sisters marks Harvey Weinstein's first foray into the young adult franchise arena. His company currently is riding high on the critical and box office success of Oscar best picture contenders Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.

"I am thrilled to be working on the first feature for Vampire Academy. This series is fantastic and I am excited to bring it to the screen for die-hard fans and introduce the stories to a whole new audience," said Weinstein.

The Vampire Academy book series has sold more than 8 million copies in 35 countries. To date, there are six titles.

Blood Sisters will be produced by Don Murphy and Susan Montford of Angry Films, Michael Preger and Deepak Nayar of Kintop/Reliance. IM Global CEO Stuart Ford will executive produce.‪

Added Murphy: "The addition of Harvey and the TWC distribution and marketing team gives us the opportunity to present this wonderful franchise to the world in a bold, unique fashion and only adds to Vampire's considerable momentum."

The Kintop Reliance/IM Global film will go into production in early summer.

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