The Scoggins Report: October 2013 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Landon Rohwedder
November 4, 2013

October 2013

Spec Market Roundup

That odd sound you may have heard at the end of last week was a collective sigh of relief as the Spec Market finally posted some big, 2011/2012-style numbers. We tracked 37 new spec scripts, the highest number since October 2012, and 15 total sales, which is tied for the biggest month of 2013 (with February). That’s also the most in a single month since October 2011’s monster number (which you can see below).

And have we mentioned that total spec sales for 2013 broke into triple digits?

There’s a lot to like in the following pages, but here are our favorite highlights:

  • Four new buyers entered the market last month, including a couple of names we’ve been waiting to hear all year (Columbia and Legendary). Plus, one of the other more-or-less absent studio buyers, Paramount, picked up two.
  • UTA extended its first place lead over 2nd place WME to seven; its 4 spec sales in October is the agency’s best month since June 2012.
  • Brooklyn Weaver’s Energy continued its 2013 dominant hot streak, adding two additional specs sales for a total of 14 so far this year.

Things are bound to slow down a bit in November, but we should still end up with good numbers: Since Thanksgiving falls quite late in the month this year, we should see spec market activity through the 19th. And we’ve already tracked two sales so far in November.

October’s raw numbers are below, followed by the usual weekly breakdowns and the details of each sale.

Year-Over-Year Breakdown

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

 New Specs

37

55

53

42

46

 Specs Sold1

15

8

20

5

5

 Percent Sold2

41%

14%

38%

12%

11%

 Genres Sold

3 Action

3 Comedy

2 Drama

1 Horror

3 Sci-fi

3 Thriller

1 Comedy

2 Sci-fi

5 Thriller

2 Action/Adventure

5 Comedy

5 Drama

1 Horror

3 Sci-fi

4 Thriller

1 Action/Adventure

1 Comedy

2 Drama

1 Thriller

2 Action/Adventure

2 Comedy

1 Thriller

1 Total sales in October              2 Sales percentage of scripts that came out and sold in October

 

Genre Breakdown 

 Genre

Total

Sold

% Sold

 Action/Adventure

5

3

60%

 Comedy

11

3

27%

 Drama

3

2

66%

 Horror

2

1

50%

 Sci-fi

6

3

50%

 Thriller

9

3

33%

  

The above percentages reflect just those that came out and sold in October.

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of September 30:

  • 10 new specs hit the tracking boards, one of which has sold so far
    • Section 6 (10/14)
    • 1 additional spec sale was announced:
      • The Unsacred (10/3)

Week of October 7:

  • 5 new specs hit the tracking boards, none of which has yet sold
  • 1 additional spec sale was announced:
  • White Rush (10/9)

Week of October 14:

  • 4 new specs hit the boards, one of which has sold
    • Patient Zero fka Patient Z (10/28)
    • 3 additional spec sales were announced:
      • Reminiscence (10/14)
      • The Strategist (10/14)
      • Untitled Cantwell/Rogers/Kosinski Project (10/14)

Week of October 21:

  • 3 new specs hit the tracking boards, none of which have yet sold
  • 2 additional spec sales were announced:
    • Attach (10/22)
    • The Drop (10/23)

Week of October 28 (Halloween):

  • 3 new specs hit the tracking boards, none of which have yet sold
  • 6 additional spec sales were announced:
    • Bad Romance (10/31)
    • Dont Hang Up (10/30)
    • Fetch (10/30)
    • Little Black Dress (10/31)
    • Sister-in-law (10/30)
    • Unleash the Mules (10/31)

  

Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Project titles in the report are linked to the corresponding Spec Scout page, so you can click to see which of the below we’ve covered and scored there.

ATTACH

WriterChris Gorak (“The Darkest Hour”)

RepsUTA (Jason Burns)

BuyerParamount

Genre:  Sci-fi

Attachments:  Gorak is attached to direct.  Adam Schroeder (“Chronicle”) will produce.

Notes:  The spec went out with a visual test by Gorak that sparked a bidding war.

Logline:  TBA, but said to have a big visual concept in the vein of “Chronicle.”

BAD ROMANCE

WriterJonathan Levine (“50/50,” “Warm Bodies”)

RepsCAA (Craig Gering)

BuyerMGM

Genre:  Comedy (we presume)

Attachments:  Levine is also attached to direct.  Channing Tatum is circling to star and will produce with his Iron Horse partner Reid Carolin.

Logline:  On the DL.

DON’T HANG UP

WriterJoe Johnson

RepsEnergy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)

BuyerRomaine Phillipe Equity

Genre:  Thriller

AttachmentsAlexis Wajsbrot & Damien Mace are set to direct.  Romaine Phillipe will produce with Brooklyn Weaver and Altitudes Will Clarke. Altitude is handling foreign sales.

Logline:  Contained thriller in the vein of “Hard Candy.”

FETCH

WriterKristen Vincent & Tim Moran

RepsWME (Melissa Myers) and Mosaic

BuyerParamount Insurge

Genre:  Comedy

AttachmentsSpace Floors Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec will produce with partners Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner.

NotesAlison Small will oversee for the studio.

Logline:  An offbeat buddy comedy involving a uniquely talented dog and his owner.

LITTLE BLACK DRESS

WritersDavid Chase (“The Sopranos”)

RepsUTA (Peter Benedek, Andrew Cannava)

BuyerParamount

Genre:  Drama

Logline:  A female war veteran returns from Afghanistan grappling with a disability. While working a potentially lethal investigation at a post-war job, she gets involved with a superstitious NYPD detective who helps bring her back from a personal precipice.

PATIENT ZERO

WriterMike Le (“Dark Summer”)

RepsAPA (David Saunders) and Hung Entertainment Group (Jonathan Hung)

BuyerScreen Gems

Genre: Sci-fi action

Attachments: Vincent Newman (“We’re The Millers”) will produce.

NotesClint Culpepper and Scott Strauss will oversee for the studio. Project went out under the title “Patient Z.”

Logline:  In a post-apocalyptic world, a man with the ability to speak the language of the undead interrogates zombies with the hopes of finding Patient Zero and a cure for his infected wife. In the vein of “Warm Bodies” and “The Walking Dead.”

REMINISCENCE

WriterLisa Joy

RepsUTA (Larry Salz)

BuyersLegendary

Genre:  Sci-fi thriller

Notes:  Price tag was a reported $1.75 million. Alex Hedlund and Jennifer Preston Bosari will oversee for Legendary.

Logline:  Kept under wraps.

SECTION 6

WriterAaron Berg

RepsVerve (Aaron Hart) and Caliber Media (Adam Simpson-Marshall)

BuyerUniversal

Genre:  Historical action thriller

AttachmentsGrey Matter Productions Lawrence Grey will produce with Simpson-Marshall and Marc Platt Productions Adam Siegel and Marc Platt.

Notes:  Price tag was reportedly seven figures. Jeffrey Kirschenbaum will oversee for Universal.

Logline:  Revolves around the origin of MI6, the British intelligence agency that was founded during World War I..

SISTER-IN-LAW

WriterSarah Heyward (“Girls”)

RepsUTA (Larry Salz)

BuyerGood Universe

Genre:  Comedy

AttachmentsHello Giggles Zooey Deschanel, Rivka Rossi and Molly McAleer will produce.

NotesAudrey Chon will oversee for Good Universe.

Logline:  A woman meets her boyfriend’s family for the first time and must find a way to get along with her eccentric future sister-in-law.

THE DROP

Writer:  Jeremy Drysdale

RepsIndependent Talent Group (U.K.) (Laura Rourke) and Sentient (Chris Tuffin)

BuyerThe Solution

Genre:  Action thriller

AttachmentsSkip Woods is attached to direct and will produce with The Solution’s Myles Nestel.  Tuffin will also produce with Sentient colleague Renee Tab.

Logline:  Kept under wraps.

THE STRATEGIST

Writer:  Inon Shampanier

RepsOriginal Artists (Chris Sablan, Jordan Bayer)

BuyerMillennium

Genre:  Thriller

Attachments:  Shampanier will also direct.  Millenium’s Mark Gill will produce with Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson and John Thompson.

Logline:  A chess master CIA recruit is brought in to mastermind the takedown of a dangerous dictator. The adversary is himself a brilliant man with impenetrable security who must be outmaneuvered at every turn.

THE UNSACRED

Writer:  Amanda Gusack

RepsParadigm (David Boxerbaum) and Zero Gravity (Eric Williams)

BuyerScreen Gems

Genre:  Horror thriller

Attachments:  Father/son team Peter and Alan Riche will produce their Riche Productions.

NotesScott Strauss is overseeing for Screen Gems.

Logline:  Kept under wraps.

UNLEASH THE MULES

Writer:  Chris Parker (“Heaven is for Real”)

RepsGersh (Bayard Maybank, Devra Lieb) and Circle of Confusion (Noah Rosen)

BuyerColumbia

Genre:  Drama

AttachmentJoe Roth will produce through his eponymous production company with son Zack Roth and Dennis Stratton.

Notes:  Devon Franklin will oversee for the studio.

Logline:  A skeptical coach helps a blind high school student win the state wrestling championship.

UNTITLED CANTWELL/ROGERS/KOSINSKI PROJECT

Writer:  Christopher Cantwell & Christopher Rogers (“The Knoll,” “Halt & Catch Fire”)

RepsVerve (Aaron Hart, Bill Weinstein) and Management 360 (Darin Friedman, Chris Huvane)

BuyerMRC

Genre:  Action thriller

AttachmentsJoe Kosinski (“Oblivion”) hatched the idea and is attached to direct.  Dylan Clark will produce.

Logline:  Kept under wraps.

WHITE RUSH

Writer:  John Schramm

RepsCAA (Matt Martin) and Energy Entertainment (Brooklyn Weaver)

BuyerThunder Road

Genre:  Action thriller

Attachments:  Thunder Road’s Basil Iwanyk will produce.

Logline:  Contained action thriller in the vein of “Point Break.”

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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