UPDATE 1/25, 1:15 PM: The figures in this post have been updated following Fox Searchlight’s official announcement of the sale.
Fox Searchlight has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Geremy Jasper’s debut film “Patti Cake$” following a heated bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival. The deal was made official by Searchlight on Wednesday, with a purchase price of $9.5 million.
Searchlight beat out several other studios including Lionsgate, Annapurna, and Amazon to land “Patti Cake$,” which has received strong reviews at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
It is the second-biggest purchase at the festival so far this year, only trailing Amazon’s $12 million buy for “The Big Sick.”
“Patti Cake$” stars newcomer Danielle McDonald as the titular rapper — real name Patricia Dombrowski — and follows her attempts to make it big in New Jersey’s hip-hop underground scene even as her life continues to fall apart.
Joining McDonald is a cast largely consisting of unknowns and newcomers, with one exception being Cathy Moriarty, who performed opposite Robert De Niro in “Raging Bull” and plays Patti’s grandmother in the film.
“Geremy Jasper has created a personal and specific story which resonates universally and is very entertaining,” said Searchlight Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley in a statement. “Patti Cake$, brought to life by Danielle Macdonald, is a singular, lovable, and highly talented character for whom we root hard. We are proud to bring this beautiful film to the world.”
“Patti Cake$” is produced and financed by RT Features. Rodrigo Teixeira produced alongside Michael Gottwald, Noah Stahl, Dan Janvey, Daniela Taplin Lundberg and Chris Columbus. Lourenço Sant’Anna, Sophie Mas, Eleanor Columbus, Josh Penn, Jonathan Bronfman, Lon Molnar and Fernando Fraiha are executive producers.
The deal was brokered by Fox Searchlight’s Executive Vice President of Business Affairs Megan O’Brien and Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Co-Productions Ray Strache, with CAA and WME Global on behalf of the filmmakers.