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Sundance: Sony Pictures Classics Takes ‘Brigsby Bear’ for $5 Million

Variety logo Variety 1/26/2017 Brent Lang
© Provided by Variety

Sony Pictures Classics has acquired worldwide rights to “Brigsby Bear,” an off-beat comedy with Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, and Greg Kinnear. The film was sold for $5 million, according to insiders.

“Brigsby Bear” is the brainchild of “Saturday Night Live’s” Kevin Costello and Kyle Mooney. It premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section. The film centers on the creator of a children’s TV show who must deal with the program’s cancellation.

In a largely positive review, Variety’s Geoff Berkshire wrote, “the eccentric, heartfelt curio is sure to attract a cult following.”

There were a number of bidders who were interested in the film, including the Orchard and Netflix, with eOne and Universal International looking at foreign rights. The Lonely Island (“Popstar”), Lord Miller (“21 Jump Street”), and 3311 Productions (“In a World…”) produced the film with YL Pictures.

Sony Pictures Classics is planning a summer release for the movie. The indie label has been busy at this year’s Sundance, snapping up the rights to the gay romance “Call Me by Your Name” and the religious drama “Novitiate.”

The deal was negotiated by UTA Independent Film Group and Ian Stratford of Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP, on behalf of the filmmakers. UTA put the pic together — the agency reps “Brigsby Bear’s” writers, directors, and most of the producers.

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