Did a Virtual Sundance Slow Down Sales After Last Year’s Record-Breaking Buying Spree?

Sundance 2022: Films like ”Cha Cha Real Smooth,“ ”Dual“ and ”Fire of Love“ have sold for healthy amounts but fell short of record-breaking deals

When Sundance was forced to pivot from a hybrid festival to a virtual one, there was disappointment from the filmmakers, yet many sellers and buyers predicted that, for better or worse, acquisitions would continue at a pace that might even outstrip last year’s record-setting deals for titles like “CODA” and “Summer of Soul.”

But despite Sundance front-loading nearly all of its premieres to the festival’s first four days, deals didn’t start coming in earnest until after everyone had a chance to view the full lineup. Starting Tuesday, a wave of acquisitions were announced, including Searchlight’s $7.5 million deal for the Emma Thompson dramedy “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande,” RLJE Entertainment’s low-seven-figure deal for the Karen Gillan-Aaron Paul thriller “Dual,” and Nat Geo’s mid-seven-figure buy of the volcano doc “Fire of Love.”

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Brian Welk

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

Umberto Gonzalez

Film Reporter ◘umberto@thewrap.com◘Twitter: @elmayimbe