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Lionsgate is diving into the water with Paranormal Activity and Insidious producers Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli. In this case, The Bay specifically.
LGF has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the eco-horror thriller, directed by Barry Levinson and written by Michael Wallach, from Alliance Films. The Bay unfolds in the found-footage style as it chronicles a horrifying biological disaster that arises from the Chesapeake Bay — an isopod parasite that carries an untreatable disease. As it jumps from fish to the humans in a small town, the victims capture the terror on home videos and the web.
Blum, Schneider and Peli produced the project with Levinson. Mythodic Films co-produced, and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Jason Sosnoff, Colin Strause and Greg Strause serve as executive producers.
“Ingenious genre films are and always will be a specialty at Lionsgate,” said motion picture group president Joe Drake. “The Bay is a shining example of the kind of truly fresh horror film that audiences are always ready for, and that we excel at eventizing with them. Thanks to Barry, we’ll all be afraid to go in the water for years to come.”
Found-footage films, which generally require tiny budgets, have proven to be a strong style for genre flicks since Paramount’s monster-in-Manhattan movie Cloverfield grossed $171 million worldwide in 2008. Peli’s Paranormal Activity grossed $193 million in 2009, and films such as Quarantine and The Last Exorcism have done well.
Alliance, which will distribute the film in Canada, the UK and Spain, is presenting the film in association with IM global, which is handling foreign sales.
Lionsgate execs Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan and Wendy Jaffe negotiated the deal with ICM, which packaged the film, and CAA on behalf of Alliance.
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