Date: 25th January 2001

Sundance: Where Has All The Money Gone?

The box-office failures of many films purchased for millions of dollars at the Sundance Film Festival in recent years have resulted in an end to the seven-figure bidding wars that used to occur there, the New York Times indicated today (Thursday).

"People are being cautious before they bid on a movie, but they are also facing up to the marketplace realities," Mark Ordesky, president of Fine Line Pictures, told the newspaper. "The number of films debuting at Sundance that have gone north of $10 million is a very short list, but the number of films for which millions were paid but which made nowhere near their purchase price, that's a very long list." (The Times said that Fine Line has yet to bid on a single film.)

Amir Malin, chairman of Artisan Entertainment (The Blair Witch Project), indicated that many buyers had left the festival early after "seeing that there was a dearth of product this year that was commercially viable."

Source: Studio Briefing