The Scoggins Report: April 2011 Spec Market Roundup

The spec market saw solid numbers again in April, even if they didn’t quite live up to March’s mammoth numbers. In addition to the overall positive performance, here are the high order bits worth mulling...
Author:
Publish date:

by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
(Originally published May 6, 2011)

The spec market saw solid numbers again in April, even if they didn’t quite live up to March’s mammoth numbers. In addition to the overall positive performance, here are the high order bits worth mulling this weekend:

  • Three different companies were involved with two spec sales each last month. On the sellers’ side, Energy, Paradigm and WME each sold two scripts. Across the table, Hollywood Gang convinced two different studios (Relativity and Warner Bros.) to make purchases on its behalf.
  • April saw six buyers that hadn’t bought scripts yet in 2011, including three new studios: Dimension, New Line and Relativity. That’s the first spec purchase for Dimension since April 2009, and the first spec purchase for New Line since I began tracking closely at the beginning of 2009.

There are plenty of other Easter Eggs buried below, too: Joe Eszterhas is back in the game; Meg Ryan’s attached to her hypothetical directorial debut; and specs from 2009 and 2010 found homes. Plus, you know the spec market is alive when a studio agrees to buy a Western.

Stay classy, Hollywood.

April 2011

April 2010

April 2009

New Specs

38

46

46

Number Sold1

9

12

11

Percent Sold2

23.7%

26.1%

23.9%

Genres Sold

1 Action 2 Comedies 2 Dramas 1 Horror 1 Sci-fi 1 Thriller 1 Western

3 Action/Adventure3 Comedies 1 Drama 1 Sci-Fi 4 Thrillers

2 Action/Adventure4 Comedies 1 Sci-Fi/Fantasy 4 Thriller

1 This number is a tally of every script that sold in April.

2 This number only takes into account scripts that came out and sold in April.

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of April 4:

  • 8 scripts hit the tracking boards, none of which sold.
  • 4 additional sales were reported (“Bait and Switch,” “Hoof Harrington’s Greatest Hits,” “Into the Beautiful,” and “Lust”)

Week of April 11:

  • 7 scripts hit the boards, none of which sold.

Week of April 18 (Passover):

  • 9 scripts hit the boards, none of which sold.

Week of April 25 (Easter):

  • 13 scripts hit the tracking boards, 1 of which sold (“The Watching Hour”)
  • 3 additional sales were reported (“Untitled Greenfield/Thomas Action Comedy,” “The Greys” and “Ness/Capone”)

Genre Breakdown*

Genre

Total

Sold

% Sold

Action/Adventure

7

0 (+1)

0%

Comedy

11

2

18%

Drama

2

0 (+2)

0%

Horror

3

1

33%

Fantasy

1

0

0%

Sci-Fi

2

1

50%

Thriller

12

1

8%

Western

0

0 (+1)

0%

*April’s numbers only; sales from previous months are in parentheses.

Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Bait and Switch

Writer: Matthew J. O’Neill

Reps: Innovative (Jim Stein, Michael Pio), Smart Entertainment (John Jacobs)

Buyer: Universal

Genre: Action comedy

Attachments: Stuber Pictures’ Scott Stuber will produce with Mark Wahlberg, Leverage Management’s Stephen Levinson and Smart’s John Jacobs. Smart’s Zac Unterman will executive produce.

Notes: Wahlberg is reportedly considering starring in the film as well.

Untitled Greenfield/Thomas Action Comedy

Writers: Luke Greenfield & Nicholas Thomas

Reps: APA and CAA

Buyer: Fox

Genre: Action comedy

Attachments: Greenfield (“Something Borrowed”) will direct and produce through his WideAwake banner along with Genre Films’ Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood.

The Greys

Writer: Adam Cohen

Reps: Paradigm (Scott Henderson) and Evolution Entertainment (Evan Corday, Stephen Gates)

Buyer: Dimension

Genre: Sci-fi thriller

Attachments: Bryan and Sean Furst will produce through their Furst Films along with Radar Pictures’ Ted Field and Mike Weber. F. Javier Guttierez (“Before the Fall”) is on board to direct.

Notes: Script originally went out in January.

Hoof Harrington’s Greatest Hits

Writer: Dutch Southern

Reps: UTA (Tobin Babst) and Energy Entertainment (Adam Marshall, Angelina Chen, Brooklyn Weaver)

Buyer: 1984 Films

Genre: Action

Attachments: 1984‘s Adi Shankar and Spencer Silna will produce.

Notes: Script originally went out in October 2010.

Into the Beautiful

Writer: Anne Meredith

Reps: WME (Adriana Alberghetti) and Brillstein Entertainment Partners

Buyer: Wendy Finerman Productions

Genre: Drama

Attachments: Wendy Finerman and Natalie Marciano will produce Meg Ryan’s directorial debut.

Notes: Lisa Zupan will oversee for Finerman. Script originally went out in January 2009.

Lust

Writer: Joe Eszterhas

Reps: ICM (Bruce Kaufman) and Baumgarten Management (Craig Baumgarten)

Buyer: Stone Village Pictures

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Peter Fruchtman will produce alongside Stone Village’s Scott Steindorff. Steindorff colleagues Dylan Russell and Scott Lastaiti will executive produce, as will Baumgarten’s Craig Baumgarten.

Ness/Capone

Writer: Grant Pierce Myers

Reps: The Gotham Group (Jeremy Bell)

Buyer: Relativity

Genre: Drama

Attachments: Hollywood Gang’s Gianni Nuannri, Virgin Produced’s Jason Felts and Rene Rigal and Gotham’s Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jeremy Bell are all aboard to produce.

The Watching Hour

Writer: Shane and Carey Van Dyke

Reps: Paradigm and Mad Hatter (Michael Connolly)

Buyer: New Line

Genre: Horror

Attachments: Connolly will produce through Mad Hatter alongside Mary Parent, through her newly named, Paramount-based Disruption Entertainment.

Wild Guns

Writer: T.S. Nowlin

Reps: WME (Daniel Cohan, Mike Esola) and Energy Entertainment (Adam Marshall, Brooklyn Weaver)

Buyer: Warner Bros.

Genre: Western

Attachments: Gianni Nunnari will produce through his Warners-based Hollywood Gang Productions.

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. Past editions of The Scoggins Report can be found in the archives of The Business of Show Institute (http://bit.ly/2HRZ67) and will soon have a beautiful new home on www.theWrap.com.

Details on every person, project and company covered by the Report can also be found at www.ItsontheGrid.com, the only place mere mortals can find listings of Hollywood’s active open writing and directing assignments, not to mention comprehensive spec market data and active film development information.

The IOTG Blog has a new home on the site: www.ItsontheGrid.com/news It includes daily highlights of recent database updates and individual posts on every spec that hits the market. You’ll find buttons to subscribe to the blog’s feed right where you’d expect them, and you can follow the site’s Twitter feed here: http://twitter.com/itsonthegrid.

About Scoggins:

Jason Scoggins is the Chief Product Officer of www.theWrap.com and General Manager of www.ItsontheGrid.com, the aforementioned film industry database he founded. Scoggins also remains the principal at Eureka Canyon, a literary management company through which he represents writers, directors and producers for feature films and television.

Reprinted with permission from The Scoggins Report.