Scoggins Report: March 2012 Spec Market Roundup

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The Scoggins Report is a compilation of sales and trends in the industry. Archive editions can be found at The Business of Show Institute and on www.thewrap.com. Details on every person, project, and company covered by the Report can also be found at www.ItsontheGrid.com. The Report is reprinted at ScriptMag.com by permission of the authors.

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan

April 2, 2012

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After a relatively slow start, March’s spec activity had picked up a bit by the time we compiled the Spec Scorecard two weeks ago. That pace continued through the end of March: 2012’s overall spec sale numbers are once again ahead of 2011’s.

We’ll have updated totals in next week’s Pitch Sales Scorecard. In the meantime, here are our favorite highlights from March:

• 2012 is looking remarkably like 2011 over at Sony: Exactly like last year at this time, Columbia Pictures picked up one spec in February and three in March and is leading the rest of the studio buyers by two. Second place this year is a three-way tie between Paramount , Universal and Warner Bros. , with 2 each. (Last year, Paramount hadn’t bought any at this point, but DreamWorks and Fox had each also bought two.)

WME maintained its blistering pace of spec sales last month. The agency’s 5 sales in March brings its 2012 total to 13, half as many in three months as 2011‘s first place agency CAA sold in all of 2011. ICM and Verve are tied in second place with 4 each, followed by CAA and UTA with 3 each.

Here are March’s overall numbers, with year over year comparisons:

2012

2011

2010

2009

 New Specs

36

34

49

78

 Number Sold1

17

16

6

9

 Percent Sold2

30.5%

38%

12%

11.5%

Genres Sold

6 Action 3 Comedy 1 Horror 1 Sci-fi 6 Thriller

1 Action 5 Comedy 3 Sci-Fi 6 Thriller 1 Western

2 Comedy 1 Drama 3 Thriller

1 Action 4 Comedy 1 Drama 2 Sci-fi 1 Thriller

1 Total sales in March

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

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of February 27:

• 9 scripts hit the tracking boards (8 in February), none of which have sold

• 3 additional sales were reported -- 2 in February (“Blood Mountain” and “The Most Wonderful Time ”), 1 in March (“Bloodshot ”)

Week of March 5:

• 9 scripts hit the boards, 1 of which has sold (“Lockdown at Franklin High”)

• 2 additional sales were reported (“Action No. 1” and “Untitled Dyatlov Pass Incident ”)

Week of March 12:

• 2 scripts hit the boards, none of which have sold

• 6 additional sales were reported (“The Good Samaritan,” “Lauren Pemberton is No Longer in a Relationship ,” “Manhattan Undying ,” “Off the Grid ,” “Olympus Has Fallen ” and “Swindle ”)

Week of March 19:

• 8 scripts hit the tracking boards, none of which have sold

• 4 additional sales were reported (“Black River,” “Huck ,” “Mojave ” and “Slayer ”)

Week of March 26:

• 5 scripts hit the boards, none of which have sold

• 3 additional sales were reported (“Untitled Female Buddy Cop Action Comedy,” “Garden District ” and “White House Down ”)

Genre Breakdown:

Four of March’s 17 sales were scripts that came out prior to 2012, and two of the 17 sales came out in February.

 Genre

Total

Sold

% Sold

 Action/Adventure

7

5+1

71%

 Comedy

8

2+1

25%

 Drama

7

0

 Horror

4

1

25%

 Sci-Fi

3

1

33%

 Thriller

6

2+4

33%

Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Action No. 1

Writers: Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon

Reps: CAA (Joseph Cohen, Scott Greenberg) and Principato Young (Peter Principato, Paul Young)

Buyer: Lionsgate

Genre: Heist comedy

Attachments: Garant and Lennon will produce with Principato and Young.

Notes: Unconfirmed rumors swirled last month that Jason Statham may star.

Logline: Revolves around a team of nerds who attempt to steal Nicolas Cage’s copy of Action Comics No. 1, the landmark 1938 comic that introduced the world to Superman.

Black River

Writer: Ransom Riggs

Reps: Paradigm (David Boxerbaum) and Heroes and Villains Entertainment (Markus Goerg, Dick Hillenbrand, Mikhail Nayfeld)

Buyer: Black Forest Film Group

Genre: Supernatural thriller

Attachments: Black Forest’s Kami Garcia, Brett Hudson and Mark Morgan will produce. Riggs is attached to co-executive produce.

Notes: Originally went out in 2009.

Logline: Follows a small town girl who has been haunted by a dead girl’s spirit ever since her own near-fatal accident. When she goes off to college and her friends begin to die, she must uncover the dark secret of the dead girl’s fate.

Bloodshot

Writer: Jeff Wadlow

Reps: WME (Rob Carlson, Roger Green)

Buyer: Columbia

Genre: Action

Attachments: Original Film’s Neal Mortiz will produce with Valiant Entertainment’s Jason Kothari and Dinesh Shamdasani.

Logline: Angelo Mortalli, a ruthless killer for the mob, is set up by the family and framed for a murder. He goes into Witness Protection, but is betrayed by an FBI agent guarding him, kidnapped and forcibly subjected to an experimental program in which his body is injected with microscopic computers called nanites. They erase his brain and rebuild it and his body to be a weapon with superhuman strength and healing powers. Bloodshot escapes his makers, and though he isn’t his old self, he tries to figure out who he was. Things get bad for everybody who betrayed him.

Untitled Dyatlov Pass Incident

Writer: Vik Weet

Reps: UTA (Charlie Ferraro, Max Michael) and New Wave (Josh Adler, Mike Goldberg)

Buyer: Aldamisa Entertainment, AR Films, K Jam Media

Genre: Supernatural thriller

Attachments: Renny Harlin is directing. Sergei Bespalov, Kia Jam, and Alexander Rodnyansky are producing.

Notes: Already in production, in Russia.

Logline: Story is based on an actual, mysterious incident that occurred in Russia’s remote Dyatlov Pass in 1959. Nine experienced hikers were found dead, their bodies emanating high levels of radiation, and their tents -- and bodies -- damaged savagely from the inside out. Now, in 2012, five ambitious American students attempt to solve the mystery by revisiting the site. Once at Dyatlov Pass, they encounter events more bizarre and terrifying than anything they could have imagined.

Untitled Female Buddy Cop Action Comedy

Writer: Katie Dippold

Reps: WME (Jeff Gorin) and 3 Arts (Greg Walter)

Buyer: Chernin

Genre: Action comedy

Attachments: Chernin’s Peter Chernin, Dylan Clark, and Jenno Topping will produce.

Notes: Chernin reportedly

bought the script out of its discretionary fund for mid-six figures.

Logline: Under wraps, but see title.

Garden District

Writers: Tony Jaswinski & Luke Goltz

Reps: Circle of Confusion (Lawrence Mattis, Ashley Berns)

Buyer: Dimension

Genre: Horror

Attachments: David Kirschner and Corey Sienega will produce.

Notes: Matt Signer will oversee for Dimension.

Logline: A low-budget horror thriller about a trio of self-declared mythbusters who get in over their heads while investigating what they think is just another hoax.

The Good Samaritan

Writer: Peter A. Dowling

Reps: APA (Debbie Deuble-Hill)

Buyer: Paradox Entertainment

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Bavariapool’s Silvio Muraglia and Frank Buchs will produce with South Creek’s Dave Valleau and Paradox’s Fredrik Malmberg and Daniel Wagner.

Notes: Went out in May 2011.

Logline: After an upstanding district attorney commits a hit and run, he finds himself trying to save the innocent man being accused of the crime.

Huck

Writer: Andy Burg

Reps: ICM (Todd Hoffman) and Brucks Entertainment (Bryan Brucks)

Buyer: Paramount

Genre: Action adventure

Attachments: Chernin’s Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce with Matt Lopez.

Notes: Ashley Brucks will oversee for Paramount.

Logline: Under wraps, but said to be a re-imagining of “Huckleberry Finn” in the vein of SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, with supernatural elements.

Lauren Pemberton is No Longer in a Relationship

Writer: Isaac Aptaker & Elizabeth Berger

Reps: Verve (Bryan Besser, Rob Herting)

Buyer: Millennium Films

Genre: Comedy

Attachments: Robert Cort will produce through his eponymous shingle.

Notes: Went out in January 2010 from Sara Bottfeld and Eryn Brown at Industry Entertainment.

Logline: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY for the Facebook generation.

Lockdown at Franklin High

Writers: Joe Ballarini & Gregg Bishop

Reps: Paradigm (David Boxerbaum), Apostle (George Heller) and Grade A (Andy Cohen)

Buyer: Columbia

Genre: Sci-fi

Attachments: Platinum Dunes’ Michael Bay, Brad Fuller & Andrew Form will produce with Benderspink’s JC Spink, Chris Bender and Christopher Cosmos.

Logline: A straight-laced teenage girl tries to save her socially outcast, rebellious brother during a high school lockdown due to a terrifying alien attack.

Manhattan Undying

Writer: Matt Deller

Reps: Empirical Management (Scott Leddy)

Buyer: Sobini Films

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Babak Payem is attached to direct and produce through Payam Fims. Sobini’s Tyler Boehm, David Higgins and Cami Winkoff will produce. Payam’s Charles Wachsberg will exec produce.

Notes: Went out in 2009 from Kathy Muraviov.

Logline: A dying artist is determing to finish his final work, a portrait of a hauntingly beautiful woman, unaware of his subject’s nightmarish true nature.

Mojave

Writer: William Monahan

Reps: WME (Chris Donnelly) and Anonymous Content (Michael Sugar)

Buyer: Atlas Independent

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Monahan will direct and produce through his Henceforth Pictures banner with Atlas Indepenent’s Chuck Roven and William Green. Henceforth’s Justine Suzanne Jones will executive produce with Atlas’ Andy Horwitz and Alan Glazer.

Logline: Under wraps.

Off the Grid

Writers: Christopher Cantwell & Christopher Rogers

Reps: Verve (Aaron Hart) and Management 360 (Jennifer Graham, Chris Huvane)

Buyer: Indian Paintbrush

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Indian Paintbrush’s Steven Rales and Mark Roybal will produce and Michael Pruss will co-produce.

Notes: Went out in February.

Logline: A professional “fixer” named Ghost who helps white-collar criminals change their identities and disappear saves a seemingly innocent woman from a violent loan shark. Ghost finds his own life in danger after a private security firm puts a price on his head. Ghost goes underground in an attempt to discover who his mystery assailant is and gets caught in a tangled web of betrayal, revenge and murder.

Olympus Has Fallen

Writers: Katrin Benedikt & Creighton Rothenberger (aka The Rothenbergers)

Reps: Gersh (Devra Lieb, Dan Vantresca) and Kaplan-Perrone (Alex Lerner)

Buyer: Millennium Films

Genre: Action

Attachments: Gerard Butler will star and produce with Alan Siegel and Millennium’s Mark Gill. Millennium’s Avi Lerner and Trevor Short will executive produce.

Notes: Went out in February.

Logline: DIE HARD in the White House.

Slayer

Writer: Martin Helgeland

Reps: WME (Rich Cook)

Buyer: Legendary Pictures

Genre: Action fantasy

Attachments: Brian Helgeland will executive produce.

Notes: Alex Garcia and Alex Hedlund will oversee for Legendary.

Logline: A modern day action film about a man who discovers he’s the last in a long line of dragonslayers.

Swindle

Writers: Enzo Mileti & Scott Wilson

Reps: ICM (Kathleen Remington)

Buyer: Paramount

Genre: Action heist

Attachments: Michael De Luca will produce through his eponymous shingle. Megan Fox and Zoe Saldana are attached to star and produce.

Logline: Under wraps.

White House Down

Writer: James Vanderbilt

Reps: WME (Adriana Alberghetti) and UFUSE (Mikkel Bondesen)

Buyer: Columbia

Genre: Action

Attachments: Vanderbilt, Laeta Kalogridis, and Brad Fischer will produce through their Mythology Entertainment.

Notes: Sold preemptively for a reported

$3 million.

Logline: DIE HARD meets AIR FORCE ONE.

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.

Details on every person, project and company covered by the Report can also be found at www.ItsontheGrid.com, a proud division of The Wrap News, Inc. IOTG is the only place mere mortals can find listings of Hollywood’s active open writing and directing assignments, not to mention comprehensive spec market data; active film development information; and relevant credits for released movies going back to 1988.

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