A joint announcement on Monday from Hulu and indie distributor Neon confirmed the existential comedy was purchased for $17,500,000.69 in a sale brokered by UTA Independent Film Group. That figure exceeds the previous record set by “The Birth of a Nation” in 2016, which went to the former Fox Searchlight Pictures for $17.5 million.
Neon will take the film out to U.S. theaters, though a timeline was not immediately clear. Hulu will then add it to what the Disney-owned streamer described as a stacked Samberg library, including “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “SNL” and the spoof “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.”
Earlier on Monday, a report said the film went for around $15 million, though insiders disputed that number to Variety at the time. “Palm Springs” premiered on Sunday at Park City’s Library Theater. On hand was director Max Barbakow, screenwriter Andy Siara, and their cast, which included leads Samberg and Cristin Milioti.
“We spent over $85 million of our own money on this movie, WE ARE TAKING A BATH on this deal. We hope Neon and Hulu are happy but we definitely have a lot of explaining to do to our families,” said producers Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone and Becky Sloviter, who mounted the project through their Party Over Here banner. The film was financed and also produced by Limelight Productions, led by Dylan Sellers and Chris Parker.
Milioti plays a lost and occasionally self-destructive bridesmaid to a younger sister getting hitched in the desert. A moving wedding toast from fellow guest Samberg gets the pair talking, and seems to be a decent match until a metaphysical event occurs, leaving the two with ample time to ponder the meaning of life and how it should be spent.
J.K. Simmons, Meredith Hagner, Camila Mendes and Peter Gallagher co-star.