Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sundance Record Broken as “Palm Springs” Starring Andy Samberg From First Time Director, Writer Beats Old Milestone by 69 Cents


Content is king, and the streaming platforms want as much royalty as they can get at Sundance.

Hulu, in their partnership with Neon, has set a record by 69 cents at Sundance. They’ve bought “Palm Springs” starring Andy Samberg for $17.5 million and 69 cents.

“Palm Springs” is from a first time director, Max Barbakow, and a first time writer, Andy Siara. They’ve made short films but never a feature film. The movie also stars Oscar winner JK Simmons, Tyler Hoechlin, and Cristin Milioti.

This breaks the previous Sundance record held by Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” which Fox Searchlight bought for $17.5 mil in 2016. After Parker’s past history came to light, that movie was a bust. Worldwide it made just under $17 million.

How much does “Palm Springs” sound like “Garden State” or “Happy, Texas” or 20 other movies that a distributor went overboard for? A lot.

The droll producers — Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer, Jorma Taccone, Becky Sloviter — say: “We spent over 85 million dollars of our own money on this movie, WE ARE TAKING A BATH on this deal. We hope NEON and Hulu are happy but we definitely have a lot of explaining to do to our families.”

Neon, which has a hit with “Parasite,” will release “Palm Springs” theatrically, at least kind of. Hulu will want to get it on their platform fast. All the streamers– Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, etc — are racing around spending big bucks on movies that are not sure things. So far there have been no fistfights, but there are still a few days to go!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News