The big money in Toronto is on “Dredd,” the 3D comicbook adaptation that Stuart Ford’s sales company IM Global has sold around the world for more than $30 million in foreign commitments. Brisk pre-sales for DNA’s $45 million pic, which Pete Travis is skedded to lense in South Africa in November, are reflective of a shifting Toronto.
The festival has always been a launchpad for finished product, and isn’t officially a sales market. Yet it’s now looking like a venue for the type of significant pre-sales usually seen at the AFM in the fall. IM Global is among the companies fielding titles with worldwide commercial potential, working out of the luxe presidential suite atop the Hyatt Regency, the new fest host hotel.
The deals for “Dredd,” launched at Toronto, rep the biggest overall numbers at the fest so far, whether domestic or foreign. Pic is financed by IM Global and parent company Reliance Big Entertainment. Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby star in the gritty, realistic adaptation. In five days, IM Global has sold the pic to a raft of major territories including Universum for Germany; Aurum for Spain; Icon for Australia; Alliance for Canada and CP Media for Russia. Other sales include eOne for Benelux, IDC for Latin America and Svensk for Scandinavia.
Over the weekend, IM Global struck a hefty $7 million deal for the futuristic pic with Blighty distrib Entertainment. U.S. buyers likewise are circling “Dredd” and a domestic deal is expected to be closed within the week.
IM Global also has seen substantial pre-sale business for Barry Levinson’s sci-fi title “The Bay” at the fest. Pic has secured a slew of major territory deals including Momentum in the U.K., ARP in France, Koch Media in Germany and Aurum in Spain.
Ford’s decision to come to Toronto this year and treat the fest as a trading market means “Dredd,” penned by Alex Garland (“Never Let Me Go”), has sold to 90% of the world here at the fest.
“Toronto has become an essential trading post for us this year,” Ford said. “We made the decision to come here in ‘Cannes mode’ and set up strong deals pre-AFM.”
IM Global brought four finished pics to the fest: Arthouse drama “Everything Must Go,” starring Will Ferrell, has had domestic and foreign buyers circling it since it screened early on in the fest. Genre pics “Bunraku” and “Vanishing on 7th Street” have also had serious interest from buyers at the fest while horror pic “Insidious” preemed Tuesday as part of the Midnight Screening series.
CAA reps “Everything Must Go,” “Bunraku” and “Insidious” domestically.