Why Sundance Film Sales Are So, So Slow This Year (So Far)

Sundance 2020: By Sunday afternoon, there’s been very little movement on the sales front

We’re four days into the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, and the deals are scarce: Amazon Studios acquired “Herself” late Sunday night and Searchlight was circling an eight-figure acquisition of Rebecca Hall’s psychological thriller “The Night House.” But insiders say the festival this year is moving at a much slower pace than previous years — by the end of the first Sunday of last year’s festival, more than seven films had sold, including pricey deals for “Late Night,” “The Farewell” and “Native Son.”

But sales agents and distributors cite a wide number of reasons for the slow start to this year’s Sundance market. “It’s an exciting time with all the new buyers, but at the same time, you have to be patient, because the pace of the sales has slowed,” one producer, who has a film for sale at the festival, told TheWrap. “A few years ago, it seemed like a lot of titles were gone by the end of opening weekend, but over the last few years, things have taken more time and sales have happened further into and even sometimes weeks after the festival.”

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Beatrice Verhoeven

Film Editor, Twitter: @bverhoev