The Scoggins Report: February 2013 Pitch Sales Roundup

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
February 25, 2013

February 2013
Pitch Sales Roundup

We’re a month into the Spring selling season and still experiencing an interesting pattern:  Pitches are selling as well or better than spec scripts, which is similar to the pace pitches set in 2011.  As you can see from the below grid, February 2013 pitch sales have already hit double digits, the first time that’s happened since April 2012, with three days left in the month as we write this.

Here are our favorite highlights from February so far:

  • Eight different studios have bought pitches so far in February, and two bought two eachNew Line, which is on par with its pattern from the past two years (when they bought 5 and 4 pitches, respectively); and Dreamworks, which is a bit out of character since it only bought 1 and 2 pitches in 2012 and 2011 respectively.  By comparison, only three studios have bought specs so far this year (Disney, Lionsgate and MGM).
  • WME sold four pitches in February, which would be a big deal for any agency except WME, which matched that feat four times in 2012.  Only UTA sold as many or more in a single month last year (6, in April).  CAA and Gersh both sold two in February.

The February pitch sale numbers through today are below, along with the usual weekly breakdowns and the details of each sale.

Feb 2013

Feb 2012

Feb 2011

 Pitch Sales

11

7

8

 Genres Sold

4 Action/Adventure

1 Comedy

4 Drama

1 Sci-Fi

1 Thriller

4 Comedy

1 Horror

1 Sci-Fi

1 Thriller

2 Action/Adventure

3 Comedy

1 Sci-Fi

1 Thriller

1 Unknown

 

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of January 28:

  • Untitled Faxon/Rash Project (February 1)

Week of February 4:

  • The Secret Garden (February 5)
  • Game Night (February 6)
  • Shore Leave (February 7)
  • Echo (February 8)
  • Untitled Medieval Knights Project (February 8)
  • The Lost Legion (February 8)

Week of February 11:

  • Equinox (February 13)

Week of February 18 (Presidents’ Day):

  • Birth of the Dragon (February 19)
  • Straight No Chaser (February 22)
  • Untitled Ingelsby/Waugh/Moritz Project (February 22)

 

Pitch Sales (alphabetical by title)

Birth of the Dragon

Writers:  Christopher Wilkinson & Stephen Rivele (“Ali”)

Reps:  Gersh (Lee Keele, Sandra Lucchesi)

Buyer:  QED

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  QED’s Bill Block, Groundswell Productions’ Michael London, Wilkinson and Rivele will produce.  Groundswell’s Kelly Mullen will executive produce.

Logline:  Focuses on Bruce Lee’s career-defining 1965 no-holds-barred TKO battle in Oakland with kung fu master Wong Jack Man.

 

Echo

Writers:  Christopher MacBride (“The Conspiracy”)

Reps:  ICM (Jeff Barry) and Industry Entertainment (Stephen Crawford)

Buyer:  Fox

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  MacBride is attached to direct.  21 Laps’ Shawn Levy will produce.

Notes:  Steve Asbell and Aaron Janus will oversee for Fox.

Logline:  Under wraps.

 

Equinox

Writers:  Adam Mason & Simon Boyes (“Not Safe For Work”)

Reps:  WME (Daniel Cohan) and Luber-Roklin (Bryan Brucks)

Buyer:  Paramount Insurge

Genre:  Sci-Fi

Attachments:  Sunny Field’s Stefan Sonnenfeld will produce with Brucks. SF’s Sarah Perlman Bremner will executive produce.

Logline:  Under wraps, but said to be “Dead Calm” in space.

 

Game Night

Writer:  Mark Perez (“Accepted”)

Reps:  CAA (Greg McKnight) and Brian Lutz Management (Brian Lutz)

Buyer:  New Line

Genre:  Comedy

Attachments:  Aggregate Films’ Jason Bateman and Jim Garavente and Davis Entertainment’s John Davis and John Fox will produce. Bateman will star.

Notes:  New Line’s Richard Brenner and Michael Disco will oversee.

Logline:  Ensemble comedy about a group of couples who get together regularly to play games.  On this game night, however, things get real when it becomes a murder mystery.  Tone will be in the vein of “Horrible Bosses.”

 

Shore Leave

Writers:  Steve Pink & Jeff Morris

Reps:  UTA (Josh Hornstock, Ramses Ishak, Michael Sheresky), Mosaic (Dawn Satlzman, Langley Perer) and Caliber (Adam Marshall)

Buyer:  Dreamworks

Genre:  Action comedy

Attachments:  Pink will also direct.

Notes:  Deadline reported this was a high-six against seven figure preemptive deal.

Logline:  Under wraps.

 

Straight No Chaser

Writers:  Jack Amiel & Michael Begler (“Big Miracle”)

Reps:  WME (Danny Greenberg, Cori Wellins) and Anonymous Content (Michael Sugar)

Buyer:  Dreamworks

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Michael Sucsy (“The Vow”) is attached to direct.  Sugar, Bard Dorros and Craig Kallman will produce through Anonymous.

Logline:  An a cappella group that hasn’t performed together in years gets a second chance when they are discovered on YouTube.

 

The Lost Legion

Writer:  Kurt Johnstad (“300,” “Act of Valor”)

Reps:  WME (David Karp, Mike Esola) and Untitled Entertainment (Jennifer Levine)

Buyer:  Warner Bros.

Genre:  Action

Attachments:  Lin Pictures’ Dan Lin will produce and Jon Silk will executive produce with Action Entertainment’s Chris Darling and Susan Feiles.

Logline:  Revolves around the first encounter between two of the most powerful forces in the history of civilization:  The Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty of ancient China. In 53 BC, a Roman legion was defeated in the Middle East and the surviving Roman soldiers were sold into slavery in the far east, North of China in what is now known as Mongolia. An intrepid band of Chinese warriors freed the legionnaires from captivity and the two groups team up to defend China from the fiercest army in history.

 

The Secret Garden

Writer:  Lucy Alibar (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)

Reps:  Gersh (Sandra Lucchesi) and Manage-ment (Dan Halsted)

Buyer:  Universal

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Guillermo del Toro and Gran Via’s Mark Johnson will produce.

Notes:  According to Deadline, deal was in the mid-six figures.

Logline:  Adaptation of Frances Hodgson’s classic novel, which is in the public domain. Rumored to be set in the American South at the turn of the 20th century.

 

Untitled Faxon/Rash Project

Writers:  Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (“The Descendants”)

Reps:  CAA (Brett Loncar, Brian Kend, Jay Baker) and Principato-Young (E. Brian Dobbins, Paul Young)

Buyer:  Fox Searchlight

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Faxon & Rash may direct as well.

Logline:  Under wraps, but said to revolve around a dysfunctional family

 

Untitled Ingelsby/Moritz/Waugh Project

Writer:  Brad Ingelsby (“Out of the Furnace”)

Reps:  WME (Dan Aloni, Mike Esola) and Energy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)

Buyer:  Columbia Pictures

Genre:  Action

Attachments:  Scott Waugh (“Act of Valor”) is attached to direct.  Neal Moritz will produce through his Original Film.

Notes:  Seven figure package was reportedly bought pre-emptively by Sony.

Logline:  Under wraps, but said to be a high concept action tentpole with franchise potential.

 

Untitled Medieval Knights Project

Writer:  Joe Ballarini (“Lockdown at Franklin High”)

Reps:  Paradigm (David Boxerbaum) and Apostle (George Heller)

Buyer:  New Line

Genre:  Action Fantasy

Attachments:  Offspring Entertainment’s Adam Shankman, Jennifer Gibgot and Matt Smith will produce.

Notes:  Deadline reported a mid-six figure sale price.

Logline:  Under wraps.

 

About The Scoggins Report:

The Scoggins Report is a terribly unscientific analysis of the feature film development business based on information assembled from a variety of public and non-public sources.  The numbers in the reports are by no means official statistics.

Caveat emptor. 

Mol?n labé

 

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