Focus Features Closes Deal for Miranda July’s ‘Kajillionaire’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Miranda July’s “Kajillionaire” is still in the black, but a different distributor has won the project out of the Sundance Film Festival.

With a late-hitting bid, Focus Features is closing in on a deal for worldwide rights to the movie in a sale worth somewhere in the mid-seven-figure range, insiders said. Universal’s prestige label came in nearly a week after A24, the previously reported frontrunner for the film, made an initial offer, sources added. If the deal closes, Focus will distribute the movie domestically, while Universal Pictures International will oversee its foreign roll-out.

July is a native of the Park City festival and one of its quirkiest, most beloved voices. She has numerous awards from the Cannes Film Festival for her notable movie “Me and You and Everyone We Know.” Her latest, which comes almost 10 years after her last directorial effort “The Future,” stars Evan Rachel Wood, Gina Rodriguez, Richard Jenkins and Debra Winger.

Plan B Entertainment’s Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner produced the film with Youree Henley. Plan B’s Brad Pitt and Annapurna’s Megan Ellison and Jillian Longnecker executive produced. UTA represents July, and UTA Independent Film Group handled the sale on her behalf.

Popular on Variety

“In talking to Peter, Jason and Robert, it was obvious that their vision for ‘Kajillionaire’s release came from a really strong gut response to the movie; I’m so excited to collaborate with them,” said July of Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski, vice chairman Jason Cassidy, and president Robert Walak.

“Kajillionaire” follows a family of low-stakes grifters, Old Dolio (Wood) and her parents. They invite a chipper young woman into their insular clan, only to have their entire world turned upside down.

In his review, Variety‘s Peter Debruge called the film “label-defying,” and said July “devises a fresh strategy to offer an outsider’s perspective, focusing on 26-years-young [Wood], the oddly named daughter in a family of scammers — a dysfunctional ‘scamily’ if ever there was one.”

More Film

  • 'Charlatan' Review: Agnieszka Holland Shows Faith

    'Charlatan': Film Review

    At several points in “Charlatan,” the camera looks glossily on as our protagonist holds small bottles of amber liquid to the light, academically scrutinizing their contents as they beam a light golden glow onto his features: an effect both ennobling and almost romantic. The man is Jan Mikolášek, a famous Czech herbalist and healer with [...]

  • Toho Cinemas at Tokyo Midtown Hibiya

    Japanese Cinemas To Refund Tickets in Virus Response

    In response to the coronavirus crisis, the Japanese film industry has begun to delay releases, close theaters and refund ticket purchases. The releases of the new “Doraemon” and “Jimaro” feature animations targeted at kids out of school for the spring break, have been delayed. The former was scheduled to open March 6, the latter on [...]

  • Blood on Her Name

    Film Review: ‘Blood on Her Name’

    In the opening moments of “Blood on Her Name,” an arrestingly twisty and suspenseful Southern noir thriller in the tradition of “One False Move,” we’re introduced to Leigh, the working-class protagonist played by Bethany Anne Lind, with a jarring close-up that is at once explicit and ambiguous. Her face is battered, her breathing is labored, [...]

  • Liev Schreiber Broadway

    Film News Roundup: Liev Schreiber Joins Will Smith's Tennis Drama 'King Richard'

    In today’s film news roundup, Liev Schreiber and retired pro footballer Vernon Davis score roles, Jason Blum will speak at his alma mater, Irish drama “Rialto” finds a U.S. distributor and “1917” hits a box office milestone. CASTINGS Liev Schreiber will portray tennis coach Paul Cohen in Warner Bros.’ “King Richard” opposite Will Smith. Reinaldo [...]

  • AMC theater

    AMC Entertainment Reports Mixed Fourth-Quarter Results

    AMC Entertainment has reported mixed fourth-quarter results, which saw revenues rise 2.4% to $1.45 billion, despite a 4.4% drop in U.S. attendance to 62.3 million. The exhibitor, owned by Dalian Wanda Group, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $13.5 million, compared to a year-earlier profit of $170.6 million, due to $84.3 million of expense related to [...]

  • 'Straight Up' Review: James Sweeney's Gay

    'Straight Up': Film Review

    There’s a tradition in movies, as vital as a hypnotic action scene or a swooning love scene, of dialogue so witty and nimble and rapid-fire that it comes at you like something out of a stylized dream. I first encountered that brand of high-velocity verbal jousting in “A Hard Day’s Night,” and later on in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content