New sales house nearly sold out on 'Mortal Instruments'

David Garrett and Constantin’s joint sales operation Mister Smith has been up and running for barely two weeks but it has already nearly sold out on supernatural adventure “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.”

Pic, a Constantin production based on the first of Cassandra Clare’s bestsellers, has gone to Australia (Roadshow), Italy (Eagle), Scandinavia (Svensk), South Korea (Bloomage), Hong Kong (Lark/UA Films), Latin America (Sun Distribution) and Eastern Europe (Media Pro).

Mister Smith is in advanced negotiations with a U.K. buyer and expects to seal the deal within the next day.

The film had previously been sold to TF1 in Gaul, Aurum in Spain and will go through Constantin in Germany.

Additional sales concluded are India (PVR), Indonesia (PT Amero Mitra), Israel (United King), Middle East (Jaguar), Philippines (Pioneer), Poland (Monolith), Singapore (Shaw), South Africa (Nu Metro), Taiwan (Long Shong) and Thailand (Sahamongkol).

The robust sales, concluded before the Cannes market is even officially under way, are a reflection of the fact that distributors aren’t waiting for the fest to kick off before diving in for titles they want, Garrett said.

The pre-Cannes sales could well set the precedent for the temperature of the marketplace this year, provided commercial titles click with the more confident indie buyers out there. “A lot of distributors are very fast to get out of the gate,” Garrett told Variety. “The sheer volume of titles at the market this year does precipitate earlier decision-making (by buyers) and it makes people focus on the things that they really want first.”

“Mortal Instruments,” a project with franchise potential, seemingly has ticked all the right boxes for foreign buyers. Property is based on one of a series of bestselling books, and has a strong domestic deal in place with Sony, which is releasing the pic on Aug. 23, 2013.

Pic is helmed by Harald Zwart and toplines Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower. It follows the story of a young girl in Gotham on a quest to find her kidnapped mother, who finds out truths about her past and bloodline that changes her life.

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