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Unlike Berlin, Cannes or AFM, Toronto never was designed to be a presales market. As such, the vast majority of films up for grabs this year are finished. And even among finished films, domestic buyers will find relatively slim pickings.
"We're in a moment in time where an awful lot of films have already been sold before the fest," says Sony Pictures Classics' Michael Barker, who is taking nine films to Toronto but doesn't expect to be on a buying spree.
Even the festival's hottest available titles saw distributors try to swoop in and take them off the market with aggressive offers in August, including CBS Films for I, Tonya and Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios for Chappaquiddick. Similarly, the James McAvoy-Alicia Vikander starrer Submergence has multiple bids lined up. In all three cases, the sales agents decided to wait to see how the films would be received in Toronto.
"Toronto is a great place to do business," says Sierra/Affinity’s Nick Meyer, who is bringing six films to the market — his biggest slate ever — including Molly's Game and Brad's Status (both of which already have domestic distribution). "It's a great way to come out of the summer, where everyone was talking doom and gloom about the movie business."
Privately, domestic sellers say they don't anticipate any of the titles to hit the eight-figure range. Still, a robust market is expected. These 11 films are among those that should make a splash.
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The Harder They Fall