Inside Focus’ $30 Million Deal for Alexander Payne’s ‘The Holdovers’

The film from Miramax that reunites the director with his ”Sideways“ star Paul Giamatti will get a global theatrical release next year

Outside a screening of Alexander Payne’s “The Holdovers” at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto on Sunday, one attendee left feeling that he had seen the best movie playing at the festival, even though it wasn’t an official selection of TIFF, and almost no one knew the screening was happening.

There’s a good chance the hype was deserved. Within 24 hours of that screening, Focus Features closed a deal to acquire “The Holdovers” for a price tag in the $30 million range. It was not just the biggest deal out of Toronto, possibly ever for either the festival or for Focus Features, it also was just about the only deal of substance out of TIFF up until that point.

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Brian Welk

Film Reporter • brian.welk@thewrap.com • Twitter: @brianwelk