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Sundance 2012: Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, Samuel Goldwyn Films Pick Up 'Robot and Frank'

Jake Schreier's debut feature had its world premiere Friday in Salt Lake City, then played at the Eccles Theatre Saturday night.

Robot & Frank
"Robot and Frank"

Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions and Samuel Goldwyn Films have partnered to pick up North American rights to Robot and Frank. Jake Schreier's debut feature had its world premiere Friday in Salt Lake City, then played at the Eccles Theatre Saturday night.

Sources say the deal, which also includes all media rights for Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, is valued at slightly more than $2 million.

Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Peter Saarsgard star in the story of an aging jewel thief who is gifted with a caretaker robot companion by his family. Christopher Ford wrote the screenplay, and Galt Niederhoffer, Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee and Lance Acord produced for Park Pictures Features.

CAA and ICM repped the sale for the filmmakers. SPWA execs Michael Helfand and Joe Matukewicz negotiated the deal along with Peter Goldwyn of Samuel Goldwyn Films.

“We have loved this project from the script stage and were at the very first Gala screening in Salt Lake City,” said Matukewicz. “This winning film strikes a special chord with audiences, and we are delighted to bring Robot & Frank into the Sony Pictures family. Jake’s film shows us a future that is right around the corner, and I for one, can’t wait for my own Robot!”

SPWA and Goldwyn previously partnered on the 2010 festival drama Welcome to the Rileys, starring Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo and James Gandolfini.

Wednesday morning, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions closed a deal to pick up U.S. rights to Arbitrage for a day-and-date theatrical-VOD release, much as they did for the 2011 Sundance thriller Margin Call. The sale price was just north of $2 million.

Other recent sales include Red Lights to Millennium Entertainment (U.S. rights, just under $4 million); Celeste and Jesse Forever to Sony Pictures Classics (North American, Latin American, Eastern European rights, around $2 million); For a Good Time, Call… to Focus Features (worldwide rights, $2 million); and Beasts of the Southern Wild to Fox Searchlight, which also grabbed worldwide rights to The Surrogate for just under $6 million Monday.

Sunday, LD Distribution picked up the thriller Black Rock for just over $1 million, and CBS Films acquired the drama The Words for a combined deal valued at $3.5 million. Competition documentaries Searching For Sugar Man and The Queen of Versailles found homes at SPC and Magnolia Pictures, respectively, on Friday.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com; Jay.Fernandez@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller; @Writer730