Barnz's family drama snapped up for $3 million
Writer-director Daniel Barnz’s Sundance competitor “Phoebe in Wonderland” has been snapped up in a $3 million, three-party North American distribution deal by ThinkFilm, Lifetime Networks and Netflix’s Red Envelope Entertainment.Partnership marks an innovative marketing and distrib pact among the three partners. ThinkFilm will release “Phoebe” theatrically in fall and handle DVD via parent company Capitol’s homevid unit Image. Lifetime takes exclusive TV rights and will bow the film under its Lifetime Pictures banner. And Red Envelope has non-exclusive DVD and streaming rights. The troika will share branding and marketing duties. Endeavor’s Graham Taylor and UTA’s Rich Klubek brought the parties together after a long stretch of negotiations since Sundance. At least three or four buyers were in the mix for each separate part of the deal, Taylor said, adding, “Sometimes auctions take 48 hours, and sometimes they can last a month.” Pic was one of several star-laden films anticipated to make immediate deals at the festival, but instead it found a home weeks after the fest was over. Elle Fanning, Patricia Clarkson, Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman star in the family drama concerning a young girl whose vivid imagination proves a blessing and a curse. Pic was produced by Ben Barnz and Lynette Howell and exec produced by Doug Dey and Chris Finazzo. Negotiators on the buyers’ sides were ThinkFilm topper Mark Urman and veep of business and legal affairs Richard Rapkowski, Lifetime Network senior VP of business affairs and deputy general counsel Jeffrey Schneider and Red Envelope business affairs topper Thom Zadra. ThinkFilm recently distributed documentary Oscar winner “Taxi to the Dark Side” and has Daniele Luchetti’s “My Brother Is an Only Child” queued up for March 28.