Sundance 2023: A Low-Sale Festival or a Wait-And-See Affair for Many Films Without Deals

Even seemingly surefire contenders starring Anne Hathaway, Jonathan Majors and Emilia Clarke ended the festival without a buyer

Concerns over theatrical viability and a public promise from streamers to avoid spending sprees left this year’s Sundance Film Festival light on big purchases and — for now — high on orphans.

While there were a few major acquisitions such as “Fair Play” and “Theater Camp,” there was a notable absence of lower-profile sales or smaller pickups, while several seemingly surefire titles were left waiting for a buyer. Titles like the Anne Hathaway/Thomasin McKenzie 1960s women’s prison melodrama “Eileen” and the Chiwetel Ejiofor/Emilia Clarke sci-fi drama “The Pod Generation” left the festival empty-handed.

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Scott Mendelson

Before joining The Wrap, Scott Mendelson got his industry start in 2008 with a self-piloted film blog titled "Mendelson's Memos." In 2013, he was recruited to write for where he wrote almost exclusively for nearly a decade. In that time he published copious in-depth analytical and editorialized entertainment industry articles specializing in (but not exclusively focused upon) theatrical box office. A well-known industry pundit, Mendelson has appeared on numerous podcasts and been featured as a talking head on NPR, CNN, Fox and BBC.