As the 2012 Sundance Film Festival rolls on, we’ve got a couple more sales to report this morning. Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions have acquired the financial drama Arbitrage, while Millenium Entertainment has picked up the paranormal thriller Red Lights. Deadline reports that Lionsgate and Roadside have acquired the rights to Arbitrage for a figure north of $2 million. The studios plan to release the Richard Gere-starred financial drama for an awards season push later this year, building the buzz around Gere’s performance.
Gere plays a hedge-fund magnate in over his head, desperately trying to complete the sale of his trading empire before the depths of his fraud are revealed. Matt was frustrated by the dueling storylines in the film, and you can read his review here. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, and Brit Marling. Hit the jump for acquisition news concerning the Robert De Niro-starred paranormal thriller Red Lights.
Additionally, Millennium Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to the polarizing thriller Red Lights. From Buried director Rodrigo Cortes, the film stars Robert De Niro as a celebrated psychic who comes out of retirement. The story centers on the struggle between De Niro’s character and two scientists who set out to debunk paranormal fraud (played by Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. The film has been drawing a polarizing response at Sundance, with many noting the disappointing ending. Matt cited a standout performance from Weaver and a compelling narrative in his positive review of the film, despite his dismay by the thriller’s conclusion.
Here’s the full press release for the sale of Red Lights:
Los Angeles (January xx, 2012) – Millennium Entertainment’s CEO Bill Lee announced today that the company has acquired US rights to Sundance thriller RED LIGHTS, featuring an all-star cast led by Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Toby Jones, Joely Richardson, Elizabeth Olsen, Craig Roberts, Leonardo Sbaraglia and Adriane Lenox. Written and directed by Rodrigo Cortés, RED LIGHTS is produced by Cortés and Adrian Guerra. Cindy Cowan, Irving Cowan and Lisa Wilson served as executive producers. Millennium Entertainment is planning an (month or season) release for the film.
RED LIGHTS is the third feature film by Rodrigo Cortés, following the multi award-winning THE CONTESTANT (2007) and BURIED (2010). A psychological thriller which explores the human brain’s perception mechanisms and the diffuse frontiers between belief and science, RED LIGHTS starts out from the experiences of two rationalist scientists who dissect phenomena from the metapsychic world, and the clash of forces with a world famous psychic they bring about. The past and the present of each the protagonists contain still unrevealed shadows, setting in train a dark story of growing tension, full of unexpected twists and turns.
“We came to Sundance looking for high-concept, quality commercial fare, and Cortés’ paranormal thriller – anchored by memorable performances from an exceptional cast – fully delivers,” said Millennium Entertainment CEO Bill Lee. “We are elated to be in business with this talented filmmaker.”
“We are excited to start working with Millennium. Their passion and understanding for our film makes them the ideal partner for our US release,” said writer-director Cortés.
The announcement comes hot off the heels of such high-profile acquisitions as A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN, RAMPART, BERNIE and INTRUDERS. Tristen Tuckfield, director of acquisitions, negotiated the deal on behalf of Millennium Entertainment; UTA Independent Film Group negotiated on behalf of the filmmakers.
Led by CEO Bill Lee, Millennium Entertainment is a leading independent supplier that acquires and distributes feature films. Formed in 2010 and bolstered by a seasoned staff which includes marketing and distribution veterans Brooke Ford and Andy Gruenberg, to date the company has released director David Schwimmer’s Trust, starring Academy Award® nominees Clive Owen, Catherine Keener and Viola Davis; Puncture, starring Chris Evans and Joel Schumacher’s thriller Trespass, starring Academy Award® winners Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. Up next the company will release Oren Moverman’s Rampart on February 10th. Co-written by Moverman and acclaimed crime fiction writer James Ellroy, the film stars Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Robin Wright, Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, Anne Heche, Cynthia Nixon, Ice Cube, Brie Larson, and Ned Beatty. In 2012 Millennium Entertainment will distribute Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s (28 Weeks Later, the upcoming Highlander) haunting thriller Intruders starring Clive Owen and Carice Van Houten from a screenplay by Nicolás Casariego and Jaime Marques; Richard Linklater’s Bernie, co-written by Skip Hollandsworth and Linklater, starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey; A Little Bit of Heaven, Nicole Kassel’s romantic drama/comedy, featuring an all-star cast led Academy Award® nominee Kate Hudson with Academy Award® winners Kathy Bates and Whoopi Goldberg as well as Gael Garcia Bernal; and Little Birds, starring Juno Temple and Kay Panabaker, with Leslie Mann and Kate Bosworth.