Spec Market Roundup — April 2011’s Sales

Analysis: The Scoggins Report is our bi-weekly analysis of Hollywood’s feature film script market

The Scoggins Report is our bi-weekly analysis of the feature film development business. The numbers in the reports are comprehensive but by no means official statistics. You can download the PDF of this week's edition here, and details on each of the people, companies and projects in the article are available to subscribers of ItsontheGrid.com, a division of TheWrap. Follow the site's Twitter feed here, and the Facebook page is here.


The spec market saw solid numbers again in April, even if they didn’t quite live up to March’s mammoth numbers. In addition to the overall positive performance, here are the high order bits worth mulling this weekend:

• Four different companies were involved with two spec sales each last month. On the sellers’ side, Energy, Paradigm and WME each sold two scripts. Across the table, Hollywood Gang convinced two different studios (Relativity and Warner Bros.) to make purchases on its behalf.

• April saw six buyers that hadn’t bought scripts yet in 2011, including three new studios: Dimension, New Line and Relativity. That’s the first spec purchase for Dimension since April 2009, and the first spec purchase for New Line since we began tracking closely at the beginning of 2009.

There are plenty of other Easter Eggs buried below, too: Joe Eszterhas is back in the game; Meg Ryan’s attached to her hypothetical directorial debut; and specs from 2009 and 2010 found homes. Plus, you know the spec market is alive when a studio agrees to buy a Western.

Stay classy, Hollywood.

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of April 4:
• 8 scripts hit the tracking boards, none of which sold.
• 4 additional sales were reported (Bait and SwitchHoof Harrington’s Greatest HitsInto the Beautiful and Lust)

Week of April 11:
• 7 scripts hit the boards, none of which sold.

Week of April 18 (Passover):
• 9 scripts hit the boards, none of which sold.

Week of April 25 (Easter):
• 13 scripts hit the tracking boards, 1 of which sold (The Watching Hour)
• 3 additional sales were reported (Untitled Greenfield/Thomas Action ComedyThe Greys and Ness/Capone)



Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Bait and Switch
Writer: Matthew J. O’Neill
Reps: Innovative (Jim Stein, Michael Pio), Smart Entertainment (John Jacobs)
Buyer: Universal
Genre: Action comedy
Attachments: Stuber Pictures’ Scott Stuber will produce with Mark Wahlberg, Leverage Management’s Stephen Levinson and Smart’s John Jacobs. Smart’s Zac Unterman will executive produce.
Notes: Wahlberg is reportedly considering starring in the film as well.

Untitled Greenfield/Thomas Action Comedy
Writers: Luke Greenfield & Nicholas Thomas
Reps: APA and CAA
Buyer: Fox
Genre: Action comedy
Attachments: Greenfield (“Something Borrowed”) will direct and produce through his WideAwake banner along with Genre Films’ Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood.

The Greys
Writer: Adam Cohen
Reps: Paradigm (Scott Henderson) and Evolution Entertainment (Evan Corday, Stephen Gates)
Buyer: Dimension
Genre: Sci-fi thriller
Attachments: Bryan and Sean Furst will produce through their Furst Films along with Radar Pictures’ Ted Field and Mike Weber. F. Javier Guttierez (“Before the Fall”) is on board to direct.
Notes: Script originally went out in January.

Hoof Harrington’s Greatest Hits
Writer: Dutch Southern
Reps: UTA (Tobin Babst) and Energy Entertainment (Adam Marshall, Angelina Chen, Brooklyn Weaver)
Buyer: 1984 Films
Genre: Action
Attachments: 1984‘s Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna will produce.
Notes: Script originally went out in October 2010.

Into the Beautiful
Writer: Anne Meredith
Reps: WME (Adriana Alberghetti) and Brillstein Entertainment Partners
Buyer: Wendy Finerman Productions
Genre: Drama
Attachments: Wendy Finerman and Natalie Marciano will produce Meg Ryan’s directorial debut.
Notes: Lisa Zupan will oversee for Finerman. Script originally went out in January 2009.

Writer: Joe Eszterhas
Reps: ICM (Bruce Kaufman) and Baumgarten Management (Craig Baumgarten)
Buyer: Stone Village Pictures
Genre: Thriller
Attachments: Peter Fruchtman will produce alongside Stone Village’s Scott Steindorff. Steindorff colleagues Dylan Russell and Scott Lastaiti will executive produce, as will Baumgarten’s Craig Baumgarten.

Writer: Grant Pierce Myers
Reps: The Gotham Group (Jeremy Bell)
Buyer: Relativity
Genre: Drama
Attachments: Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nuannri, Virgin Produced’s Jason Felts and Rene Rigal and Gotham’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell are all aboard to produce.

The Watching Hour
Writer: Shane and Carey Van Dyke
Reps: Paradigm and Mad Hatter (Michael Connolly)
Buyer: New Line
Genre: Horror
Attachments: Connolly will produce through Mad Hatter alongside Mary Parent, through her newly named, Paramount-based Disruption Entertainment.

Wild Guns
Writer: T.S. Nowlin
Reps: WME (Daniel Cohan, Mike Esola) and Energy Entertainment (Adam Marshall, Brooklyn Weaver)
Buyer: Warner Bros.
Genre: Western
Attachments: Gianni Nunnari will produce through his Warners-based Hollywood Gang Productions.


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