Josh Radnor-directed pic debuted at Sundance
Publisher Hannover House’s film and vid division has picked up all North American distrib rights to thesp Josh Radnor’s feature directorial debut and 2010 Sundance Audience Award winner “Happythankyoumoreplease.”Hannover repped a new indie buyer at Sundance this year as the Arkansas-based company tries to pump up its homevid biz by becoming a larger presence in theatrical distribution. During the fest, Hannover bought Joel Schumacher’s high-profile teen chiller “Twelve,” which it rolls out in theaters on July 2 in a counter-programming move against “Eclipse,” the next installment in the “Twilight” franchise. Hannover made a multi-seven-figure deal for the domestic rights to “Happythankyou,” which Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”) also wrote and stars in. Hannover is set to release the dramedy on Aug. 27 in five top markets; Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Dallas. The following weekend, which is Labor Day, the comedy will expand to an additional 20 markets across the country. Former Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. distribution chief Tom Ortenberg is consulting on the theatrical rollout for films through his One Way Out Media shingle. “Happythankyou,” a Paper Street Films/Tom Sawyer Entertainment production, was produced by Jesse Hara, Austin Stark, Chris Papavasiliou and Benji Kohn. Exec producers were Bingo Gubelmann, Peter Sterling and Glenn Williamson. Pic also stars Malin Akerman, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Kate Mara, Pablo Schreiber and Michael Algieri. Considering the number of indie distribs who have folded, new entrants into indie distribution like Hannover are welcome news for filmmakers and producers. Hannover has released a handful of titles theatrically, but until now hadn’t jumped into bigger films. A private equity fund is backing its title acquisitions. It’s been in the publishing biz since 2002, and in the homevid arena since 2008. It has a library of 175 titles. “Sundance was really the launch of things,” Hannover House CEO Eric Parkinson said. Both “Happythankyou” and “Twelve” target younger demos. “It’s a good arena for us to get into. I think when you start dealing with an older-skewing crowd, you have to have more expensive stars, and the acquisitions are more costly. Younger audiences can be easier to entice,” Parkinson said. Hannover has a DVD deal with Walmart, which is headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., not far from Hannover’s home in Springdale. Myriad Pictures had previously picked up the international rights at the Sundance Film Festival.