Sundance: ‘Happy Christmas’ With Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham Picked Up by Magnolia, Paramount

Joe Swanberg directs and co-stars along with Melanie Lynskey

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Magnolia Pictures and Paramount Pictures have partnered to respectively nab theatrical and home entertainment rights to “Happy Christmas.”

The film will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. It arrives with strong buzz, because it is directed by Joe Swanberg, who had a video-on-demand hit last year with  “Drinking Buddies,” and stars Anna Kendrick and Lena Dunham.

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Under the pact, Magnolia Pictures is handling U.S. theatrical and VOD distribution, while Paramount Home Media Distribution will manage U.S. physical home entertainment and all international rights. Magnolia is planning a summer 2014 release.

Melanie Lynskey (“Two and a Half Men”) and Swanberg co-star in the film, which finds Kendrick playing a shiftless twenty-something who moves to Chicago to live with her older brother. Her arrival in the Windy City stirs things up for her brother (Swanberg) and his novelist wife (Lynskey).

The deal was negotiated by Paramount Home Media Distribution, Magnolia acquisitions SVP Dori Begley and Magnolia acquisitions VP Peter Van Steemburg, with Swanberg, Alicia Van Couvering and André Des Rochers of Gray Krauss Stratford Sandler Des Rochers LLP representing the filmmakers.