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Summit Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to Kathryn Bigelow’s suspense-filled Iraq War-based actioner “The Hurt Locker,” during a Toronto International Film Festival that has been hurting for big sales.
The deal for the CAA-repped movie closed in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Sources involved with the deal place the price between just over $1 million to just under $2 million, with significant backend for the filmmakers and a wide release.
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Guy Pearce and Ralph Fiennes star in Bigelow’s tale of an Army squad that must defuse a dangerous bomb in a crowded Iraqi city.
Buyers have been following the title since it premiered in competition Sept. 4 at the Venice Film Festival.
Summit and several other distributors have been in talks with the filmmakers since its Monday night Toronto bow. All hoped the film’s action elements would allow it to escape the curse other Iraq War films have faced at the boxoffice.
Buyer interest in “Locker” spoke to a hunger for quality films in a marketplace, and may be the start of a late-fest flurry in sales as distributors patiently wait for prices to fall.
“This movie is not about the Iraq War. It’s an action-adventure movie that happens to be set in Iraq,” said Voltage Pictures producer Nic Chartier, who has sold several international territories on the film.
Gregg Goldstein reported from New York. Steven Zeitchik reported from Toronto. Borys Kit contributed to this report.
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