Under the deal, Sphere Films will theatrically release pics including Charlotte Wells’ Cannes breakout “Aftersun,” which is currently screening as part of TIFF, and Ari Aster’s “Disappointment Blvd.” starring Joaquin Phoenix. The latter is believed to be A24’s biggest production to date.
The A24 deal comes off the back of Sphere Films’ acquisition of MK2 Mile End in April. Charles Tremblay, former boss of MK2 Mile End and now the president of Sphere Films, said: “We felt that by joining a larger media company like Sphere that would help our chances of being a larger distributor than on our own.”
“A24 was aware of us, and they were made aware of the change in the sale to Sphere,” he continued. “But one of the reasons why it was important to us to make a deal that significant in terms of films and number of films was that [A24] is a very important provider of films in the marketplace. We want to make sure we’re among the distributors they think about when they launch their titles.”
Other films in the deal include Daina O. Pusic’s directorial debut, “Tuesday,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus; “Funny Pages” by Owen Kline; Kelly Reichardt’s “Showing Up,” starring Michelle Williams; Jesse Eisenberg’s directorial debut, “When You Finish Saving the World,” starring Julianne Moore and Finn Wolfhard; “God’s Creatures” by directing duo Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer, and starring Emily Watson and Paul Mescal; and Claire Denis’ “Star at Noon” and Lukas Dhont’s “Close,” both of which won the Grand Prix after recently competing in Official Competition at Cannes.
Tremblay noted that A24’s ability to cut through to younger demographics appealed to the distributor, which, much like its international counterparts, is trying to get audiences back into movie theaters.
“That guided my decision with A24,” said Tremblay. “‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ did gangbusters with younger audiences. Generally speaking, for edgier films, the main audience is not the older audiences. It’s forced us to develop how to handle films targeted at younger audiences, who have shown that they’re back.”
Tremblay added: “Sphere Films and A24 share a deep appreciation of innovative storytelling and original filmmaking, which makes this partnership an especially exciting one.”
While the company doesn’t have any output deals in place, Tremblay said Sphere is also on the “lookout for other opportunities.”