Overture, Maximum bask in 'Sunshine'

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UPDATED 8:51 p.m. PT Feb. 26

Overture Films has picked up U.S. rights and Maximum Films has netted Canadian rights to the seriocomic drama "Sunshine Cleaning," starring Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Steve Zahn and Alan Arkin.

The Overture sale on the $7 million Big Beach project -- which did not sell immediately after its premiere at January's Sundance Film Festival -- was for about $2 million plus substantial backend participation for the filmmakers, and the Maximum deal was in the mid-six figures.

The high-wattage cast, prescreening expectations of a comedic tone, the title's similarity to the $10.5 million 2006 Sundance seller "Little Miss Sunshine" and the films' shared producers and Oscar-winning star Arkin led to high hopes for a heated bidding war.

But director Christine Jeffs' film had a more serious tone than many expected, and mixed critical response led to caution among buyers and a slower sale. It was one of several slower-than-expected sales among premieres during the first weekend at Sundance.

The stars' name recognition might increase sales in other available territories. Cinetic Media repped the sale for the filmmakers.

In other Big Beach news, the company is said to have closed a deal to attach "The Office" star John Krasinki and "Saturday Night Live" cast member Maya Rudolph to its untitled Sam Mendes-Dave Eggers comedy, which centers on a couple's search for the best place in the U.S. to start a family. Focus is on board to distribute the film.
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