The Scoggins Report: April 2013 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
May 6, 2013

April 2013
Spec Market Roundup

We don’t want to jinx anything, but we sure picked an auspicious time to move the Scoggins Report into its new home on SpecScout.comApril 2013’s 14 spec sales is the highest monthly total in nearly a year, since June 2012.  As a matter of fact, it’s among the highest monthly numbers in over five years — 4th highest since we began tracking in 2008.

As you’ll see below, starting this week, project titles in the report are now linked to the corresponding Spec Scout page, so you can click to see the several projects we’ve covered and scored there.

Other than the high total, April’s sales were so broadly distributed across the buy side that our highlights this month focus solely on the sell side:

  • UTA had the best month among the agencies, with 3 spec sales, but most of the usual suspects got in on the action, including 4-month-old Resolution.
  • It was much the same on the management company side — lots of familiar names, with Benderspink and Energy setting up 2 each.

Year-Over-Year Breakdown

April 2013

Apr 2012

Apr 2011

Apr 2010

Apr 2009

 New Specs

26

33

39

46

46

 Specs Sold1

14

12

11

13

11

 Percent Sold2

31%

36%

28%

16%

23%

 Genres Sold

3 Action

1 Comedy

1 Drama

2 Horror

2 Sci-fi

5 Thriller

2 Action

3 Comedy

1 Horror

2 Sci-fi

4 Thriller

2 Action

2 Comedy

2 Drama

1 Horror

1 Sci-fi

2 Thriller

1 Western

3 Action

3 Comedy

1 Drama

1 Sci-fi

4 Thriller

2 Action

4 Comedy

1 Sci-fi

4 Thriller

1 Total sales in April                                    2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in April
Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of April 1:

  • 4 new specs hits the tracking boards, 1 of which has sold so far
  • House Arrest (4/9)
    • 4 additional spec sales were announced:
    • Camden (4/1 – originally went out in February)
    • Broken Cove (4/2)
    • Don’t Make Me Go (4/3 – originally surfaced December 2012)
    • Omega Point (4/5 – originally went out in March)

Week of April 8:

  • 6 new specs hit the boards, 2 of which have sold:
    • Highrise (4/11)
    • A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood (5/2 – not counted in April’s sales)
  • 2 additional  spec sales were announced:
    • Shut In (4/8 – originally went out in February 2012)
    • The Bermuda Triangle (4/9)

Week of April 15:

  • 2 new specs hit the tracking boards, neither of which have sold yet
  • 3 additional spec sales were announced:
    • Inquest (4/16)
    • Black Friday (4/19)

Week of April 22:

  • 4 new specs hit the boards, none of which have yet sold
  • 3 additional spec sales were announced:
  • Americatown (4/22 – originally surfaced December 2012)
  • You’ll Be The Death of Me (4/23)
  • Home Invasion (4/24 – originally went out September 2012)

Week of April 29:

  • 4 new specs hit the tracking boards (all in April), none of which have yet sold
  • 1 additional spec sale was announced:
  • Capsule (4/29)

Genre Breakdown 

 Genre

Total

Sold

% Sold

 Action/Adventure

11

2+1

18%

 Comedy

3

1

33%

 Drama

2

1+1

50%

 Horror

2

1+1

50%

 Sci-Fi

3

1+1

33%

 Thriller

5

3+2

60%

 

The +‘s in the above grid indicate scripts that sold in those genres that went to market prior to April 2013.  The percentage reflects just those that came out and sold in April.

 

Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

 

AMERICATOWN

Writer:  Ben Poole

RepsVerve (Aaron Hart, Rob Herting, Adam Levine) and Oasis Media Group (David Lonner, Ben Rowe)

BuyerAldamisa

Genre:  Action thriller

AttachmentsSean Finegan will produce with Aldamisa.

Notes:  Script was on the 2012 Black List.

Logline:  In a China-dominated near future, an ex-cop rises in the criminal underworld of an American ghetto in Hong Kong while trying to earn his wife and daughter safe passage out of crumbling Los Angeles.

 

BLACK FRIDAY

Writer:  John Sullivan

RepsBenderspink (Jake Wagner)

BuyerMammo Media

Genre:  Action thriller

Attachments:  Mammo’s Matt Moore will produce.

Logline:  A young man desperately tries to save his fiance when she is kidnapped inside a mega-mall on the busiest shopping day of the year.

 

BROKEN COVE

Writer:  Declan O’Dwyer

RepsEnergy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)

BuyerThunder Road

Genre:  Contained revenge thriller

Attachments:  Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk will produce with Weaver.

Notes:  O’Dwyer resides in Ireland and was discovered by Weaver via blcklst.com.  This is said to be the website’s first international signing and sale.

Logline:  TBA, but said to be in the vein of “Animal Kingdom.”

 

CAMDEN

Writer:  Lucas Carter

RepsEnergy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)

BuyerThe Exchange

Genre:  Contained thriller

Attachments:  The Exchange’s Laura Ivey will produce with Intrigue Entertainment’s Tariq Jalil. Carter and Alex Vinnitski of The Exchange will co-produce. Brian O’Shea of The Exchange and Alan Simpson of Grand Peaks will executive produce.

Notes:  Originally went to market in February.

Logline:  Love story between the Nation’s First Daughter and her protector, a young Secret Service agent posing unbeknownst to her as a student.  When a rogue military group storms their isolated college campus and takes everyone hostage, the agent must rescue her and stop an even larger hidden plan.

 

CAPSULE

Writer:  Ian Shorr, based on a story by Matthias Hoene

RepsUTA (Charlie Ferraro, David Park, Jason Burns) and Mosaic (Langley Perer)

BuyerFox

Genre:  Sci-fi

Attachments:  Hoene (“Cockneys vs Zombies”) is attached to direct.  Hutch Parker will produce through his eponymous production company with John Zaozirny.

Notes:  Aaron Ensweiler will oversee for Hutch Parker Productions.

Logline:  A young man’s life is turned upside down when he mysteriously begins to receive metallic capsules containing messages from his future self.

 

DON’T MAKE ME GO

Writer:  Vera Herbert

RepsGersh (Sandra Lucchesi)

BuyerBig Beach Films

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Big Beach’s Peter Saraf and Marc Turtletaub will produce with De Line Pictures’ Donald De Line.

Notes:  Script made the 2012 Black List and got a high Spec Scout Score as well (73.6).

Logline:  When a single father to a teenage daughter learns that he has a fatal brain tumor, he takes her on a road trip to find the mother who abandoned them years before and to try to teach her everything she might need over the rest of her life.

 

HIGHRISE

Writer:  Peter Dowling

RepsAPA (Debbie Deuble-Hill, Will Lowery, Ryan Saul) and Industry (Ava Jamshidi)

BuyerFox 2000

Genre:  Thriller

AttachmentsJon Shestack will produce through his eponymous production company.

Notes:  Jessica Goodman will oversee for the studio.

Logline:  TBA, but said to be inspired by the 1965 film “The Collector.”

 

HOME INVASION

Writer:  Joseph Dembner

RepsBenderspink (Jake Wagner)

BuyerVoltage

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  Sean Carter will direct.  Joel Silver, Andrew Rona and Alex Heineman will produce under Silver Pictures’ Zinc Entertainment banner with Voltage’s Nicolas Chartier and Craig Flores.  Dembner will co-produce, Silver’s Steve Richards will executive produce with Michael Fiore.

Notes:  Set for production in June.  Project originally went to market in September 2012, shortly after which the Silver team produced a test scene which Carter directed.

Logline:  TBA, but said to be about a family imprisoned in their own home by intruders who play a life-and-death game in which the mysterious rules become clear as the night unfolds.

 

HOUSE ARREST

Writer:  Justin Adler (“The Escort”)

RepsUTA (Julien Thuan) and Kapital Entertainment (Aaron Kaplan)

BuyerRelativity

Genre:  Romantic comedy

AttachmentsBroken Road’s Todd Garner, Sean Robins and Jeremy Stein will produce.

Logline:  Two high-end bond traders decide to end their marriage just before they are forced to live together for six months of house arrest.

 

INQUEST

Writer:  “Sam Cohen” (aka Josh Simon)

RepsWME (Mike Esola) and Apostle (George Heller)

BuyerWayfare Entertainment

Genre:  Political thriller

Attachments:  Wayfare’s Ben Browning and Sarah Shepard will produce.  Simon will executive produce.

Notes:  Based on true events surrounding Princess Diana’s death.

Logline:  A London private detective is hired to investigate whether the late Princess Diana’s death was truly an accident or something more.  When he uncovers a potential conspiracy, his own safety is jeopardized.

 

OMEGA POINT

Writer:  Cameron Alexander

RepsResolution (Abram Nalibotsky) and Rosa Entertainment (Sidney Sherman)

BuyerCBS Films

Genre:  Sci-fi thriller

Attachments:  Rosa’s Sherman will produce.

Notes:  Project originally went to market in March.

Logline:  TBA, but said to be in the vein of “Chronicle.”

 

SHUT IN

Writer:  TJ Cimfel & David White

RepsManus Entertainment (Marc Manus)

BuyerRadioactiveGiant

Genre:  Horror thriller

Attachments:  RadioactiveGiant’s Albert Sandoval and Daemon Hillin will produce.

Notes:  Ombra Films was attached to produce when this originally went out in 2012 but is no longer involved.  RG is planning a Fall 2013 start.

Logline:  A phobia-riddled woman struggling to deal with a morbid fear of the outside is terrorized by home invaders who don’t realize she has some dark secrets of her own.

 

THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE

Writer:  Daniel Kunka

RepsICM (Harley Copen) and Madhouse (Adam Kolbrenner)

BuyerWarner Bros.

Genre:  Action

AttachmentsAtlas’s Chuck Roven and Richard Suckle will produce with Kolbrenner.  Andy Horwitz of Atlas and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse will executive produce.

Notes:  Jon Berg will shepherd the project at Warner Bros.

Logline:  TBA, but word is it’s a tentpole action franchise centering on the Bermuda Triangle’s planes-and-ships-mysteriously-go-missing mythology.

 

YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME

Writer:  Mark Hammer

RepsUTA (James Kearney, Tim Phillips, Carolyn Sivitz) and Think Tank Management (Tom Drumm)

BuyerLionsgate/Summit

Genre:  Horror comedy

AttachmentsMandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman will produce.

NotesDeadline reported a low six figure price tag.

Logline:  Nothing can spoil falling in love in New York City, but a masked knife-wielding psychopath hell bent on keeping you single can certainly make it more difficult.

 

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. 

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