Evan Peters Heist Film ‘American Animals’ Bought by The Orchard and MoviePass

Sundance 2018: MoviePass’ first acquisition is a true-story theft film directed by Bart Layton

MoviePass and The Orchard have acquired the domestic rights to “American Animals,” a true crime heist film directed by Bart Layton and starring Evan Peters.

The acquisition is the first pickup from MoviePass, which announced at the Sundance Film Festival last week that it would begin acquiring films with established distributors and promote them via its movie ticket subscription program. The film was purchased for $3 million plus P&A.

“American Animals” follows a group of young men in their early twenties who, in 2004, mistook their lives for a movie and attempted an art-theft from the special collections library of their own university. Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd, and Udo Kier also star.

“We’re proud to partner with The Orchard, a distributor we respect a great deal, on our first co-acquisition deal,” MoviePass CEO Mitch Lowe said in a statement. “We’re open for business and look forward to supporting our other distributor partners in acquiring great content, utilizing efficient P&A spends, and ensuring strong performance in the theatrical window and participating in downstream revenues as a result of strong box office performance.”

“‘American Animals’ is a bold, exciting and fresh take on the heist movie that had us from the start,” added Paul Davidson, The Orchard’s EVP of Film & TV. “By joining forces with MoviePass, a bold and forward thinking company unto themselves, we’ll reach audiences in new and exciting ways and give American Animals the release it deserves.”

Co-financed and developed by Film4 and AI Film , the film is a Raw production, produced by Katherine ButlerDerrin Schlesinger, Dimitri Doganis, and Mary Jane Skalski. The deal was negotiated by Danielle DiGiacomo, VP of Acquisitions for The Orchard, and Khalid Itum, VP of Business Development, and Zac Bright, Director of Business Development, from MoviePass & MoviePass Ventures, with Vince Holden at AI Film and UTA Independent Film Group on behalf of the filmmakers.