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Fox Searchlight’s offer of around $9 million has prevailed in the major bidding war for the distribution rights to Brooklyn, the romantic drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor Domhnall Gleeson.
The movie premiered Monday night, when many were already trickling out of town, and received a standing ovation, a rarity at this year’s fest. “Classily and classically crafted in the best sense,” stated The Hollywood Reporter’s review.
Bidding took place overnight, reaching mid-seven figures by morning. By mid-afternoon, the high bid was over $8 million. By the end, the deal had settled in the $9 million range and included U.S. rights plus some international territories as well. (Canada, Australia, the U.K. and some others were already presold.)
Lionsgate, The Weinstein Co., Focus and CBS Films were also in the mix.
The deal is looking like the biggest of the festival so far. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which looked to be the largest sale in the initial hours after it closed a few days ago, actually went for mid-seven figures in a partnership arrangement. (Searchlight also bought that title.)
It may also be one of the richest Sundance deals ever when all is said and done. Searchlight has been involved in some record-breaking Sundance deals before, including a deal in the $10 million range for Little Miss Sunshine back in 2006.
Based on Colm Toibin‘s novel of the same name, Brooklyn is set in 1950s Ireland and centers on a young woman (Ronan) trapped in between two men and two countries, testing her commitment to true love and her duty to her home country.
Emory Cohen, Julie Walters, and Jim Broadbent also star.
The film was directed by John Crowley and written by Nick Hornby. Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey produced the film with Alan Moloney executive producing.
CAA and Hanway, which reps international rights to the film, made the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.