TORONTO: The Toronto deals are exploding! Anchor Bay Films has just closed all English-speaking rights to Beautiful Boy, the Shawn Ku-directed drama. I’m told the deal was 7-figures, negotiated by Paradigm Motion Picture Finance Group’s Ben Weiss with Anchor Bay Films’ Kevin Kasha. Deal includes a P&A commitment. Lightning Entertainment is selling foreign. It stars Maria Bello and Michael Sheen as disengaged parents of a college student who discover not only that he has been killed in a campus shooting, but that he was the triggerman who massacred other students. The picture premiered Sunday and has been a topic of buzz, particularly for those strong lead performances and Ku’s and Michael Armbruster’s script. Anchor Bay continues to raise its profile after acquiring and releasing Solitary Man and City Island. First Point Entertainment’s Lee Clay and GoldRush Entertainment’s Eric Gozlan produced the pic.
Anchor Bay Films has the keys for the distribution rights to “Carjacked,” a thriller being directed by John Bonito (“The Marine”).
The film, set to star Maria Bello and Stephen Dorff, is scheduled to begin principal photography November 15 in Baton Rouge. The rights deal is for theatrical and video and includes North America, U.K. and Australia. The aim is to release the movie in second quarter 2011.
Bello will play a single mom who, along with her son, is carjacked by a bank robber (Dorff), who is on the run from the police.
The film is produced by Daniel Grodnik and Mass Hysteria Entertainment, one of the companies behind movies such as “Powder” and “Bobby.” Executive producing are Eric Gozlan, Murray Rosenthal, Richard Lott and Mike Greenfield.
Dorff stars in “Somewhere,” Sofia Coppolla’s drama which just won the Venice Golden Lion prize. Bello stars in “Beautiful Boys,” which premiered at TIFF.