We have a few acquisition bits to bring you today. First up, Lionsgate has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson’s (Rain Man) found-footage “eco-horror” film, The Bay. Produced by Paranormal Activity alums Oren Peli, Steven Schneider, and Jason Blum, The Bay stars Andy Stahl and Kether Donohue and focuses on “an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay – an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts.” On its own, the disease sounds pretty rough. When you throw in the “untreatable,” it gets upgraded to “horrific.” The film is shaping up for a release later this year.
Next up, Relativity Media has acquired domestic distribution rights to the thriller House at the End of the Street. Starring former Oscar-nominees Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone) and Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) as well as Max Theriot (My Soul to Take), the film revolves around a mother and daughter (Shue and Lawrence) who move into a new neighborhood only to find that the house next door is the home of a psychotic young girl who murdered her parents. Mark Tonderai directs a script by David Loucka. Also without an official release date, moviegoers may be waiting until 2012 to check out House at the End of the Street.
For more on the projects, hit the jump to check out the official press releases for both acquisitions.
Here’s the press release Lionsgate sent over regarding The Bay:
LIONSGATE TO UNLEASH THE BAY ON U.S. AUDIENCES
Biological Disaster Film From Producers Of Paranormal Activity Acquired From Alliance Films
Santa Monica, CA, April 14, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, today announced that it has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Barry Levinson’s found footage eco-horror film THE BAY from Alliance Films. The announcement was made jointly by Joe Drake, President of the Motion Picture Group, and Jason Constantine, President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions.
From the producers of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise, the film is the next installment in their series following INSIDIOUS, and chronicles an unprecedented biological disaster unleashed from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay- an isopod parasite, carrying a horrific untreatable disease, that jumps from fish to human hosts. The true horror and scope of the event unfolds on footage captured on home videos and the internet by the town’s victims.
“Ingenious genre films are and always will be a specialty at Lionsgate,” explained Drake of the choice to acquire the film. “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.”
Adds Constantine, “We have been big admirers of Jason Blum, Steven Schneider and Oren Peli since their breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and are thrilled to be in business with them. This film works so effectively because it establishes a very natural, everyday world, places the audience intimately within it, and then sits back as everything takes a horrific turn. Barry has incorporated found footage to the most satisfying possible effect, and it’s all the scarier for not relying on anything supernatural.”
“It’s exciting to see a company like Lionsgate embrace The Bay so enthusiastically. The found footage / multiplatform approach opened up the film to creative possibilities I hadn’t encountered in my previous films, and I think these sorts of films will only continue to push boundaries as the technology changes,” said director Barry Levinson.
The film was directed by Levinson, from a script he co-wrote with Michael Wallach. THE BAY was produced by Levinson, Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, and Oren Peli, and co-produced by Mythodic Films, with Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, Jason Sosnoff, Colin Strause, and Greg Strause executive producing.
THE BAY is an Alliance presentation in association with IM Global. IM Global handled foreign sales, and Alliance will distribute in Canada, the UK and Spain.
The deal was negotiated by Lionsgate’s Constantine, with Eda Kowan, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, and Wendy Jaffe, Executive Vice President Business & Legal Affairs for Acquisitions. The sale was brokered on behalf of Alliance by ICM and CAA. ICM packaged the film and represents Levinson and Wallach.
Here’s the press release Relativity sent over regarding House at the End of the Street:
Relativity Purchases FilmNation’s House at the End of the Street
Studio Acquires Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Theriot Starrer
(Beverly Hills, CA) April 14, 2011 – Relativity Media announced today that it has closed a deal to acquire US distribution rights to FilmNation Entertainment and A Bigger Boat’s thriller House at the End of the Street, starring Oscar®-nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Oscar®-nominee Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas) and Max Theriot (My Soul to Take).
Directed by Mark Tonderai (Hush) and written by David Loucka (Dream House), the film is about a mother (Shue) and daughter (Lawrence) who move into a new community and find themselves next door to a house in which a psychotic young girl murdered her parents. While the locals insist the girl vanished after the brutal murders, the young newcomer befriends the surviving son (Theriot) and discovers the sinister story is far from over.
Producers are FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder (The Prestige), A Bigger Boat’s Peter Block (Saw franchise), and Hal Lieberman (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). FilmNation Entertainment will handle distribution outside of the U.S.
Relativity currently has the box office hit Limitless in theaters. The studio recently had Golden Globe®-winner and seven-time Oscar®-nominee The Fighter in theatres, via Paramount Pictures, starring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo and Amy Adams as well as Golden Globe®-winner and eight-time Oscar®-nominee The Social Network via its partnership with Sony Pictures. Looking ahead, Relativity will release Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer based on the popular kids book series on June 10th, 2011, followed by David Ellis’ Shark Night 3-D on September 2nd, 2011. On November 11th, 2011, the studio will release the highly-anticipated Immortals, starring Henry Cavill, Stephen Dorff, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, Kellan Lutz, with John Hurt and Mickey Rourke.
FilmNation Entertainment is currently in post-production on James McTeigue’s The Raven starring John Cusack; in pre-production on The Amateur American starring Luke Evans and in development on F*cking Engaged starring Jessica Biel.
ABOUT RELATIVITY MEDIA, LLC
Relativity Media, LLC is a media and entertainment company that focuses on creating, financing and distributing entertainment content and intellectual property across multiple platforms, as well as making strategic partnerships with, and opportunistic investments in, media and entertainment-related companies and assets. Relativity owns and operates Rogue, a company that specializes in the production and distribution of films targeted to the 13-25 year old audience. Building upon its foundation of financing and producing films, Relativity has grown to include music, sports and television divisions and the next-generation social network iamrogue.com. Relativity also owns and operates RelativityREAL, Relativity’s television arm, which is currently producing 14 series and more than 20 pilots including “Police Women” for TLC, “Coming Home” for Lifetime, and “The Great Food Truck Race” for The Food Network.
To date, Relativity has committed to, produced and/or financed more than 200 motion pictures. Released films have accumulated more than $15.0 billion in worldwide box office revenue. Relativity’s recent films include Salt, Despicable Me, Grown Ups, Charlie St. Cloud,Dear John, It’s Complicated, Zombieland, Couples Retreat, Get Him to the Greek, Robin Hood, and, most recently, The Fighter, Little Fockers, James Cameron’s Sanctum in 3D, Season of the Witch, Take Me Home Tonight, Limitless, and The Social Network. Upcoming films for Relativity include Immortals, Shark Night 3D, Hop, Bridesmaids, and Cowboys & Aliens. 36 of the company’s films have opened at No. 1 at the box office. Relativity films have earned 60 Oscar® nominations, including nods for Nine, A Serious Man, Frost/Nixon,Atonement, American Gangster and 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolfman, The Social Network and The Fighter. 55 of Relativity’s films have each generated more than $100 million in worldwide box-office receipts.
ABOUT FILMNATION ENTERTAINMENT
Considered to be one of the leading independent international sales & distribution and production companies in the world, FilmNation Entertainment was founded in 2008 by veteran international sales executive Glen Basner. Veteran producer and distribution/acquisitions executive Aaron Ryder helms the production arm, which is a first-class operation tasked with sourcing, developing, packaging, and producing commercially viable films.
The company handled international sales on the Academy Award® Best Picture winner The King’s Speech and has a roster that includes Wettest County starring Shia LaBeouf, Gambit starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz; Hungry Rabbit Jumps starring Nicolas Cage; Pedro Almodóvar’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In); Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Sanctum by executive producer James Cameron; Terrence Malick’s untitled love story starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, and Rachel McAdams; Under the Skin with Scarlett Johannson; Ceremony starring Uma Thurman; The Oranges with Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, and Leighton Meester; and Midnight’s Children, based on Salman Rushdie’s award-winning international bestselling novel.
FilmNation has delivered on its philosophy of providing an unrivaled level of “added value” for its clients across all aspects of its businessand serves as the exclusive international sales agent for Media Rights Capital (MRC), Samuels Media Group, and Greenstreet Films. In addition the company has a non-exclusive multi-picture deal with Endgame Entertainment. For more information please go to:www.wearefilmnation.com.