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Don Jon’s Addiction set the bar high for Sundance acquisitions yesterday after Relativity Media picked up that film for $4 million. Now the bar is even higher after Fox Searchlight picked up The Way, Way Back for nearly $10 million.
Deadline first reported that Fox’s indie distributor was close to reaching a deal earlier today after fierce bidding from rival studios, including Warner Bros., FilmDistrict, Paramount and Lionsgate.
Later, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline confirmed that the comedy went to Fox Searchlight. They ended up paying $9.75 million for the Steve Carell-starring comedy for North American rights, plus other territories.
The cast also includes Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell and Maya Rudolph. Liam James stars as 14-year-old Duncan, whose unlikely friendships are at the center of the film.
Nat Faxon and Jim Rash co-wrote and co-directed the film. The duo is best known for working with Alexander Payne on the Oscar-winning script for The Descendants. That film was also distributed by Fox Searchlight.
The sale easily beats previous high mark Relativity Media set when it bought Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon’s Addiction for $4 million.