The Scoggins Report: January 2013 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
February 4, 2013

  
January 2013
Spec Market Roundup

So far so good:  As you can see from the ever-expanding grid below (it’s hard to believe this is will be the Scoggins Report’s fifth year), the 2013 spec market is off to a very solid start.  Like the pitch market, we’re  not quite up to 2012’s unusually strong mark, but we’re way ahead of the curve.

Here are our favorite highlights from January:

  • Disney’s running true to form so far, picking up one of its annual two specs in the first quarter, just as it’s done each year since 2009.  In addition to the two brand new non-studio buyers to our list — Incognito and Solipsist — please give a warm welcome to MGM, which bought its first spec since March 2009.
  • WME started its dominant 2012 run by setting up three specs last January.  This year, though, it’s UTA setting the pace with its two spec sales last month.  Paradigm, Verve and WME were just behind with one each.

We were a bit surprised at first that last month’s sales didn’t include any of the 2012 Black List scripts, but we did some digging and discovered that only one of January 2012’s sales was a Black List script.  On the other hand, three of February 2012’s 13 sales were on the previous Black List, and we’re hoping to see that trend continue.

The January year-over-year comparison grid is on the next page, followed by the usual weekly breakdowns and the details of each sale.  Enjoy, and when you’re done, don’t forget to check out Jason’s new web venture, SpecScout.com, which we’re proud to have sponsoring the Scoggins Report.

Year-Over-Year Breakdown

Jan 2013

Jan 2012

Jan 2011

Jan 2010

Jan 2009

 New Specs

19

19

17

18

28

 Number Sold1

7

12

2

0

2

 Percent Sold2

33%

53%

12%

0%

7%

 Genres Sold

1 Action

1 Drama

1 Horror

1 Sci-Fi

2 Thriller

1 Western

1 Action

3 Comedy

2 Drama

1 Horror

2 Sci-fi

4 Thriller

1 Drama

1 Thriller

1 Comedy

1 Thriller

1 Total sales in January

                  2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in January

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of December 31 (New Year’s):

  • No specs hit the market
  • No additional spec sales were announced

 

Week of January 7:

  • 4 specs hit the tracking boards, 2 of which have sold:
    • The Residence (January 15)
    • The Widow (January 15)
  • 1 additional spec sale was announced:
    • Untitled Guyot/Devlin Disaster Project (January 8)

 

Week of January 14 (Sundance):

  • 5 specs hit the tracking boards, none of which have sold yet
  • 2 additional spec sales were announced:
    • Ben-Hur (January 14)
    • Surrounded (January 16; originally went out in 2012)

 

Week of January 21 (Sundance):

  • 5 specs hit the tracking boards, two of which have sold:
    • Blood Drive (January 28)
    • Pantheon (January 24)
  • No additional spec sales were announced:

 

Week of January 28:

  • 2 specs hit the tracking boards and have not yet sold
  • No additional spec sales were announced

 

Genre Breakdown

 Genre

Total

Sold

% Sold

 Action/Adventure

4

1

25%

 Comedy

1

0

 Drama

2

1

50%

 Horror

3

1

33%

 Sci-Fi

4

1

25%

 Thriller

4

2

50%

 Western

1

0+1

 

Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Ben-Hur

Writer:  Keith Clarke

Reps:  DJ Talbot

Buyer:  MGM

Genre:  Drama

Attachments:  Sean Daniel Co.’s Sean Daniel will produce with Joni Levin.  Clarke will executive produce with SDC’s Jason Brown.

Logline:  Fresh adaptation of the 1880 Lew Wallace novel, which was also the basis for the 1959 Charlton Heston film and is in the public domain.

 

Blood Drive

Writer:  Christian Parkes

Reps:  Zero Gravity (Jeff Belkin)

Buyer:  Sentinel Pictures

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  Sentinel’s Adam Brawer and David Beitchman will produce.

Logline:  A normal man with the rarest blood type is suddenly forced to deliver his just-stolen kidney to a ruthless criminal needing a transplant.

 

Pantheon

Writer:  Spenser Cohen (“High Value Target”)

Reps:  WME (Mike Esola) and Energy (Brooklyn Weaver)

Buyer:  Solipsist Film

Genre:  Sci-fi thriller

Attachments:  Solipsist’s Stephen L’Hereaux will produce with Cohen’s producing partner Anna Halberg.

Logline:  Under wraps, but said to be a thriller with sci-fi elements.

 

Surrounded

Writers:  Andrew Pagana & Justin Thomas

Reps:  Verve (Rob Herting) and Industry (Michael Botti)

Buyer:  Incognito Pictures

Genre:  Western

Attachments:  Industry’s Andrew Deane and Michael Botti will produce with Patrick Aiello and Incognito’s Jack Selby and Scott Stone.

Logline:  A single day in the life of a young man who holds a notorious outlaw captive as his gang closes in to take him back. Set in the Old West.

 

The Residence

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

Reps:  Paradigm (David Boxerbaum, Chris Licata, Ida Ziniti) and Apostle (George Heller)

Buyer:  Disney

Genre:  Horror comedy

Attachments:  Jerry Bruckheimer will produce through his eponymous company..

Logline:  A tour guide discovers that the White House is haunted and must stop an evil curse from inflicting itself on the First Family.

 

The Widow

Writer:  Ray Wright (“The Crazies”)

Reps:  UTA (Jon Huddle, David Park)

Buyer:  Vendome

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  Vendome’s Philippe Rousselet will produce with Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Alix Madigan.

Notes:  Guy Stodel and Sarah Schweitzman will oversee for Vendome.

Logline:  A young woman befriends a lonely widow only to discover that their initial encounter was not a coincidence.

 

Untitled Guyot/Devlin Disaster Project

Writers:  Paul Guyot & Dean Devlin (TNT’s “Leverage”)

Reps:  UTA (Mickey Berman, Geoff Morley, Marissa Devins, Josh Hornstock) and Circle of Confusion (David Alpert, Greg Shephard)

Buyer:  Skydance

Genre:  Action

Attachments:  Skydance’s David Ellison and Dana Goldberg will produce with Devlin and his Electric Entertainment’s Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan.

Logline:  Under wraps, but said to be a global disaster movie.

 

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 emptorMol?n labé.

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