Now this is a hangover we can get behind: 2011’s pace of spec sales continued unabated through January 2012. In fact, last month’s numbers were higher than all but the two busiest months of 2011. In other words, January 2012 had the third highest number of monthly spec sales in more than five years. Here are our favorite highlights:
Five of January’s 15 buyers were studios, including perennial market leader Warner Bros. and Disney, which bought just two specs in each of the past three years. Previously, no studio had picked up a spec script in January since the WGA strike.
WME sold four specs last month, jumping out to an early lead over 2011’s spec sales leader CAA, which sold two.
WME’s Mike Esola (2011‘s No. 1 pitch salesman) and Energy’s Brooklyn Weaver (one of 2011‘s most effective lit managers) combined forces to set up two specs last month.
In response to popular demand, we’re now including loglines in the spec sale details below. (You’re welcome.) Here are January’s overall numbers:
Weekly Activity Breakdown
Week of January 1 (New Year’s Day):
1 script hit the tracking boards and hasn’t sold
1 additional sale was reported (“The Incredible True Story of Jessica & Drew Who Boned on the Way to the Wedding”)
Week of January 8:
Week of January 15:
3 scripts hit the tracking boards, one of which sold (“Thirteen”)
Week of January 22 (Sundance):
1 script hit the tracking boards and hasn’t yet sold
1 additional sale was reported (“Untitled Max Landis Space Adventure”)
Week of January 29:
4 scripts hit the tracking boards (2 in February), none of which have yet sold
Three of January’s sales were of scripts that came out in previous months.
January 2012 Spec Sales (alphabetical by title):
Writers: Nathan Brooks & Bobby Lee Darby
Reps: Original Artists (Chris Sablan, Jordan Bayer, Matt Leipzig) and Hung Entertainment (Jonathan Hung)
Buyer: WWE Films
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Logline: In the vein of “Paranormal Activity” and “The Blair Witch Project.” After a documentary film crew go missing in the Bermuda Triangle, only their recovered film footage holds the clues to their fate.
Writer: Brad Copeland
Reps: UTA (Julien Thuan, Matt Rice)
Buyer: College Humor
Attachments: Copeland is attached to direct. Glenn Howerton, Steve Little, Ben Schwartz, and Josh Groban are attached to star.
Notes: Ricky Van Veen will oversee for College Humor.
Logline: Centers on Will, a website manager, and his friends who regularly drop in to a local coffee house. Echoing news stories about Starbucks baristas banding together to lock bathrooms and otherwise thwart habitués, the group must come together when their freeloading existence is threatened.
Writer: Cormac McCarthy
Reps: ICM (Amanda “Binky” Urban, Ron Bernstein)
Buyer: Nick Wechsler Productions and Chockstone
Attachments: Nick Wechsler will produce through his eponymous shingle along with Chockstone’s Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz.
Notes: Ridley Scott is reportedly in talks to direct.
Logline: Follows a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe into the drug business without getting sucked in.
Everybody Wants Head
Writers: Peter Hoare & Christopher Lilli
Reps: Kailey Marsh Management (Kailey Marsh)
Buyer: Cinetic Media and Sentinel Pictures
Attachments: Sentinel’s Adam Brawer and David Beitchman will produce with Marsh and Benjamin Scott.
Logline: Centers on a man with extreme OCD who inadvertently meets a shameless sex addict in group therapy. After a series of unfortunate events, the two wind up on the run (from the cops and the mob) carrying a severed head in a bowling ball bag.
Writer: Will Honley
Reps: Verve (Adam Levine, Bill Weinstein, Bryan Besser, Rob Herting, Zach Carlisle) and Mindframe Entertainment (Jesse Silver)
Notes: Went out in November 2011 and made the 2011 Black List.
Logline: The first person to travel the speed of light (a former NASA pilot with amnesia) realizes he has the ability to travel back in time and along the way rediscovers his love for his wife.
Writer: Chris Bullett
Reps: New Wave (Josh Adler, Mike Goldberg)
Buyer: Amazon Studios
Logline: When a disgraced young cop is assigned a routine civilian ride-along, he quickly learns that his passenger is not what he seems and that he has just entered into a brutal battle with a killer who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. In the vein of an action-packed "Collateral."
The Incredible True Story of Jessica & Drew Who Boned on the Way to the Wedding
Writers: Erin Simon & Kimberly Karp
Buyer: Fox 2000
Attachments: Sunswept’s Karen Rosenfelt will produce with MXN’s Mason Novick.
Logline: Centers on two people who, while on their way to a destination wedding and with other partners on their minds, hook up and fall in love.
Untitled LD Goffigan Thriller
Writer: LD Goffigan
Reps: CAA (Stuart Manashil) and Silent R (Jewerl Ross)
Buyer: Lava Bear
Attachments: Lava Bear’s David Linde and Tory Metzger will produce with Intrigue’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter and Quadrant’s Doug Davison.
Notes: Went out in December 2011 under the name “Intrusion.”
Logline: Attempting to rebuild her life after a harsh engagement break up, a young woman moves to San Francisco where she finds herself the victim of escalated assaults and, ultimately, something much more sinister.
One Night Stand
Writer: Joel Edgerton
Reps: CAA (Kimberly Hodgert)
Buyer: New Regency
Attachments: Joel Edgerton will executive produce (but is not attached to star).
Notes: Brad Weston and Carla Hacken will oversee for New Regency.
Logline: An honest look at a man and a woman in the aftermath of a one night stand.
Run All Night
Writer: Brad Ingelsby
Reps: WME (Mike Esola) and Energy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)
Buyer: Warner Bros.
Attachments: Roy Lee will produce through his Vertigo Films banner with Weaver.
Logline: In a single night, an aging mob hitman is forced to take on his former boss. The guy has to protect his son and family, and winds up on the run from the mob and the authorities with his estranged son.
Untitled Max Landis Space Adventure
Writer: Max Landis
Reps: WME (David Karp, Danny Gabai) and Circle of Confusion (Britton Rizzio)
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure
Attachments: Andrew Panay will produce through his Panay Films.
Logline: Centers on a brother and sister as they undertake an epic adventure.
Writer: Ben Magid
Reps: WME (Mike Esola) and Energy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)
Attachments: Weaver will produce with Strike Entertainment’s Kristin Laiblin and Eric Newman.
Notes: Sold preemptively to Universal.
Logline: When six friends decided to purposely become demonically possessed as part of an extreme experiment, they soon discover they’re in for much more than they bargained for.
Writers: Anthony O’Brien, Colin Ossiander & Steve Allrich
Buyer: ANA Media
Attachments: O’Brien is attached to direct. Josh Peck (“The Wackness,” “ATM”)and James Ransone (“Prom Night”) are attached to star. ANA’s Scott Einbinder and Patrick Newall will produce.
Logline: Revolves around two brothers torn from their family who set out to find their violent father, a twisted man who has turned the Yukon Territory into his own personal hell. Set during the 1898 Yukon Gold Rush.