Acquisition News: Anchor Bay Picks up VAMPS and Focus World Nabs EXTRATERRESTRIAL

     April 17, 2012


Two fairly promising genre films found homes today:

  • Anchor Bay has acquired the rights to Amy Heckerling’s supernatural comedy Vamps, which stars Alicia Silverstone and Krysten Ritter, with eyes on an October theatrical release.
  • Focus World has picked up cult filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s alien invasion tale Extraterrestrial for a limited theatrical and VOD run beginning on June 15.

Hit the jump for more on both films, including full press releases.

vamps-imageDescribed as a “comedy-fantasy-romance”, Vamps sees Silverstone and Ritter playing two modern-day bloodsucking BFFs living in New York; amidst suppressing their urge to slurp human plasma and navigating the dating scene, they find their friendship tested by love. Director Heckerling turned Silverstone into a pop-culture icon when the pair worked together on 1995’s Clueless. The initial marketing for this one seems to be playing up the “Clueless with vampires” angle, which I can get on board with (especially with Ritter in the mix). Vamps also stars Sigourney Weaver, Wallace Shawn, Richard Lewis, Malcolm McDowell, Kristen Johnston, Dan Stevens, Zak Orth, Marilu Henner, and Justin Kirk.

Having burst onto the world stage with the low-budget sci-fi-thriller Timecrimes in 2007, Spanish helmer Vigalondo’s Extraterrestrial looks set to have more witty, off-beat fun with the genre. The set-up:

“Two strangers in Madrid, fresh off a one-night stand, find their morning after disrupted by a suspicious neighbor, a jealous ex, and a mysterious flying saucer suddenly hovering over the city.”

In addition to the limited releases in Brooklyn, Seattle, North Hollywood, and Texas throughout June, interested film-goers can try to set-up a screening in their area via

Below are the full press releases.


BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Anchor Bay Films announced today the acquisition of all North American distribution rights to the latest film by Amy Heckerling (Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High), VAMPS. Starring Alicia Silverstone (Clueless, Batman & Robin), Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23,” Confessions of a Shopaholic), Wallace Shawn (Toy Story, Princess Bride) and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, Avatar), the film combines the fun of the classic hit Clueless with the tremendous popularity of vampires. A theatrical release is expected near Halloween. The deal was announced by Bill Clark, President of Anchor Bay Entertainment.

“We are excited to have picked up the rights to VAMPS,” commented Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions for Anchor Bay Films. “It’s a hilarious story with the perfect cast.”

Beautiful vampires Goody (Silverstone) and Stacy (Ritter) have been enjoying the good life in New York City. As upstanding, politically correct Extended Life Forms (ELFs), the pair hit a support group, “Sanguines Anonymous,” to help curb the temptation of human blood in between their clubbing and dating schedules. When love steals into each of their lives, the pair’s destiny is set on a new course and they must make a choice that will jeopardize their immortality—and maybe much more.

Written and directed by Amy Heckerling, VAMPS is a comedy-fantasy-romance that puts a fresh and hilariously upbeat twist on the vampire genre. In addition to Wallace Shawn and Sigourney Weaver, the film also stars Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”), Richard Lewis (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Justin Kirk (“Weeds”), Kristen Johnston (Bride Wars), Malcolm McDowell (The Artist, A Clockwork Orange), Zak Orth (Romeo + Juliet) and Marilu Henner (Johnny Dangerously). It was produced by Lauren Versel, Molly Hassell, Stuart Cornfeld and Maria Teresa Arida. Executive Producers include Stanislaw Tyczynski, Julie Kroll, Kamal Nahas, John Jencks, Lisa Wilson, Stephen Hays and Peter Graham. VAMPS was produced by Lucky Monkey Pictures and Red Hour Films.

The deal was negotiated by Kevin Kasha, Josh Thomashow and Marc Barson for Anchor Bay Films; Cassian Elwes, Kevin Iwashima and Julie Kroll negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.

extraterrestrial-movie-posterExtraterrestrial (via Deadline):

NEW YORK, April 17th, 2012 – Focus World (, the unique alternative distribution initiative owned and operated by Focus Features, will distribute Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo’s science fiction comedy Extraterrestrial in partnership with Tugg, Inc. The movie will be released in theaters and via video on demand (VOD) beginning Friday, June 15th, 2012, and will also be available for audiences nationwide to create their own theatrical screenings through the Tugg platform. The announcement was made today by Focus President Andrew Karpen. The deal was closed by Avy Eschenasy, Executive Vice President, Strategic Planning, Business Affairs and Acquisitions, with Kent Sanderson, Director, Alternative Content & Distribution.

The unique distribution strategy will provide moviegoers with the opportunity to see Extraterrestrial both theatrically, via Tugg, as well as through Focus World’s digital distribution network. While also being available to filmgoers across the country through Tugg, Extraterrestrial will have an initial theatrical release in select cities including Brooklyn, NY (at reRun’s Gastropub Theater) and Seattle, WA (at the Uptown Theatre), on June 15th; North Hollywood, CA (at Laemmle’s Noho 7), on June 22nd; and in Texas (at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations) in June.

Tugg’s collective action web-platform will complement the established theatrical and VOD options by giving viewers in additional cities the ability to bring Extraterrestrial to their local theater. Through Tugg, an individual can create personalized theatrical screenings by selecting the date, time, and theater of their choice, and then spreading the word to their friends and fellow film fans. Once enough people commit to attending, the event will be confirmed and fans can host their own screening of the movie. To request a screening through Tugg, visit; for more information on how Tugg works, visit

In Extraterrestrial, a world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, Spanish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo follows up his cult feature Timecrimes by way of another sly and unexpected twist on a sci-fi genre – an alien-invasion tale. Two strangers in Madrid, fresh off a one-night stand, find their morning after disrupted by a suspicious neighbor, a jealous ex, and a mysterious flying saucer suddenly hovering over the city. Entertainment One will release Extraterrestrial on DVD later in the summer.

“We’re thrilled to be able to bring Nacho’s work back to audiences in the United States. This strategy allows his fans to see Extraterrestrial either on the big screen with an audience, or in the comfort of their own homes,” said Focus’ Avy Eschenasy.

Launched in 2011, Focus World identifies and curates the most exciting voices in international and independent cinema. Part of Focus Features’ multi-platform strategy, Focus World presents titles of genuine vision and originality as premiere releases on EST, iVOD, and VOD, along with DVD and other formats.

Focus World has also confirmed another new selection, Worried About the Boy, which tells the life story of George O’ Dowd, better known to the world as Boy George. Douglas Booth, the star of this month’s PBS miniseries Great Expectations as well as the upcoming movie Romeo and Juliet, portrays George. Worried About the Boy is currently available on VOD and iTunes, where it can be owned exclusively for a limited time.

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