The Hollywood Reporter has released its fifth and final daily issue for the American Film Market, which kicked off Wednesday in Santa Monica. The issue features a look at why business is tough for sellers and producers of low-budget shlock, Liam Neeson’s new thriller and the Indie Director Roundtable.
“A Lot of Films Now Are Worth Nothing”
For a handful of high-profile, star-studded titles at AFM, business has been good. For example, Hypnotic, an action thriller from Robert Rodriguez starring Ben Affleck, is set to sell out worldwide after Rodriguez pitched the project to international buyers at the market this week. Solstice Studios, which is producing Hypnotic with Studio 8 as well as handling international sales, said it has already closed deals with most of the world and expects to mop up the last few major territories before AFM wraps. Hypnotic is reportedly budgeted at $60 million to $80 million. THR breaks down how “the appetite from international buyers is fierce” yet business is tough for sellers and producers of low-budget shlock.
The Ice Road, an upcoming thriller starring AFM regular Liam Neeson, has landed a number of deals for The Solution Entertainment Group, which is selling the project internationally. The film, which is being directed by Jonathan Hensleigh (The Punisher, Kill the Irishman) from his own screenplay, is set in the far northern regions of Canada and features Neeson play a big-rig driver who must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save a group of trapped miners after a remote diamond mine collapses.
Indie Directors in Conversation
In the AFM Indie Director’s Roundtable, Bart Freundlich, Marjane Satrapi, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Julie Delpy, Roland Emmerich and Ladj Ly discuss artist integrity, financial challenges and the complicated politics of moviemaking in 2019.