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New Line has made its first acquisition in eight years by acquiring worldwide rights to the Blumhouse Prods. and Film 360 film Superstition.
The high school-set horror movie also marks the first feature-length film financed by Film 360, the film production arm of Management 360.
Sources say New Line beat out a bevy of suitors that included Relativity and Lionsgate for the rights to distribute the film, which is in the vein of I Know What You Did Last Summer but with a found-footage element.
The project appeared on Management 360’s radar when first-time directors Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff posted rough footage from Superstition on YouTube, where manager Dean Schnider stumbled upon it. Impressed with the story and execution, Film 360 took the project to microbudget maestro Jason Blum as something they could team up on to finance. The Fresno-based directors then shot the film on a microbudget with an unknown cast.
New Line’s Dave Neustadter screened the finished film in early May and brought it to the attention of Carolyn Blackwood, executive vp strategy and operations at New Line.
“It’s a genre we have a great affinity for, and our team is particularly skilled at sizing up what will work with a youth-oriented audience,” Blackwood tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Superstition was special because it gives us the opportunity to work with these young filmmakers who could be the next James Wan and to be in business with Jason.”
The acquisition is a surprise move for New Line, which hasn’t acquired a film since the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, when its Picturehouse specialty label picked up the Marion Cotillard-starrer La Vie en Rose. But New Line is hot in the horror space — having enormous success last summer with Wan’s The Conjuring, which became one of the most profitable films of 2013 — and felt that Superstition was the right fit.
New Line is planning a 2016 release for Superstition.
“We always hoped that our work would be seen by others, but this is beyond our wildest dreams,” Lofing said.
Film 360’s Schnider, Guymon Casady and Ben Forkner are producing Superstition alongside Blum, while Blumhouse’s Couper Samuelson is executive producing.
Blumhouse’s upcoming microbudget wide releases include The Purge: Anarchy and Ouija. The company’s Insidious 3 and Sinister 2 are about to go into production.
Film 360’s upcoming slate includes Steve Jobs at Sony, adapted by Aaron Sorkin from the Walter Isaacson biography.
Lofing and Cluff are repped by Management 360 and Ziffren Brittenham.
CAA brokered the Superstition deal.
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