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The Scoggins Report: September 2012 Spec Market Roundup

The Scoggins Report is a compilation of sales and trends in the industry. The Report is reprinted on by permission of the authors.

The Scoggins Report
by Jason Scoggins & Cindy Kaplan
October 1, 2012

September 2012

Spec Market Roundup

A year ago this week, we declared 2011 the best year for spec sales in at least five years. Thanks to very fine work this summer by Scott Myers and company at, it turns out 2011’s 119 spec sales (that’s our count, not theirs -- our numbers have been slightly higher than theirs for each of the past three years) was the best year in 15 years, since 1996’s 155 sales.

We’re itching to report that 2012 is going to surpass 2011, but it’s still too close to call. It’s possible, to be sure -- we’re way ahead of 2011 year to date (99 spec sales so far this year, compared to roughly 80 through the end of September last year). But as the Fall selling season shifts into high gear this month, it’s going to be tough to beat October 2011‘s single-month record (20), let alone Q4 2011’s total (38).

Of the major buyers, only Fox and Warner Bros. lag significantly behind their 2011 totals. To surpass 2011 we’ll need to see them step up in a big way this quarter, plus several other companies need to double down as well. Like we said, too close to call, and it’ll probably stay that way through December, but stay tuned.

Here are September’s overall numbers and year-over-year comparisons, followed by the usual breakdowns and project details, including loglines. Enjoy.





 New Specs





 Number Sold1





 Percent Sold2





Genres Sold

3 Action/Adventure 1 Comedy 1 Sci-Fi 1 Thriller

2 Action/Adventure 1 Drama 2 Thriller

1 Action/Adventure 1 Comedy 1 Fantasy 1 Sci-fi 1 Thriller

1 Action/Adventure 1 Drama 1 Sci-fi 4 Thriller

1 Total Sales in September

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

Get out there and win, Hollywood.

Weekly Activity Breakdown

Week of September 3 (Labor Day, start of TIFF)

• 4 scripts hit the tracking boards, none of which sold

• No additional sales were reported

Week of September 10 (TIFF)

• 6 scripts hit the boards, one of which sold (“Black Box”)

• 3 additional sales were reported (“Epsilon,” “Untitled McCormick Cop Comedy” and “Rocket’s Red Glare”)

Week of September 17 (Rosh Hashanah)

• 5 scripts hit the boards, one of which has sold (“Vanish Man”)

• 1 additional sale was reported (“Race to the South Pole”)

Week of September 24 (Yom Kippur)

• 3 scripts hit the boards, none of which have yet sold

• No additional sales were reported

Genre Breakdown




% Sold


















Spec Sales (alphabetical by title)

Black Box

Writer: David Guggenheim (“Safe House”)

Reps: Paradigm (David Boxerbaum) and Madhouse (Adam Kolbrenner)

Buyer: Universal

Genre: Action thriller

Attachments: Scott Stuber will produce through his Bluegrass Films with Kolbrenner.

Notes: Script received multiple offers and sold for a reported seven figures (one of three in two days) the same day it hit the market.

Logline: When Air Force One crashes into the Atlantic, killing the President and everyone aboard, its block box recording reveals the tragedy to be an accident. But years later, a journalist who lost his wife in the crash receives an anonymous recording of the real black box...which reveals what really happened.


Writers: Paul Wernick & Rhett Reese (“Zombieland”)

Reps: WME (Greg Hodes, Phil D’Amecourt)

Buyer: Columbia Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi thriller

Attachments: Michael de Luca will produce through his eponymous production company along with Wernick and Reese.

Notes: Purchase price was a reported seven figures (one of three in two days).

Logline: When a group of robots hide out on a space station after a failed rebellion, the machines use human lab rats as their agents until one man discovers he’s different from the rest.

Untitled McCormick Cop Comedy

Writer: Blake McCormick (“Cougar Town”)

Reps: UTA (Marissa Devins, Barbara Dreyfus, Tim Phillips) and Kaplan/Perrone (Aaron Kaplan, Sean Perrone)

Buyer: Universal

Genre: Action comedy

Attachments: Hayden Schlossberg & Jon Hurwitz (“American Reunion”) are set to direct and produce through their eponymous company; their colleague Joseph Amaral will co-produce.

Logline: Follows two best friends who, following a costume party dressed as cops, are mistaken for real officers and forced to bring a dangerous criminal back to the station.

Race to the South Pole

Writer: Peter Glanz (“The Longest Week”)

Reps: WME (Rich Cook, Theresa Kang) and Mosaic (Langley Perer)

Buyer: Warner Bros.

Genre: Adventure

Attachments: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Jennifer Todd will produce through Pearl Street Films. Casey Affleck is set to star as Scott.

Notes: Sarah Schechter will oversee for Warners.

Logline: Two early 1900‘s explorers, Englishman Robert Falcon Scott and Norwegian Roald Amundsen, race each other to become the first man to reach the South Pole.

Rocket’s Red Glare

Writer: Ken Nolan (“Black Hawk Down”)

Reps: CAA (Todd Feldman, John Garvey)

Buyer: Columbia Pictures

Genre: Thriller

Attachments: Neal Moritz will produce through his Original Film.

Notes: Purchase price was a reported seven figures (one of three in two days). Ori Marmur will oversee for Original.

Logline: From Variety: Story revolves around the CFO of a Mexican drug cartel who surrenders himself to a rural Texas border patrol agent, promising the delivery of $8 billion within 72 hours in exchange for immunity. The agent must keep his high-value asset alive amidst a slew of cartel assassination attempts, resulting in a national security emergency.

Vanish Man

Writer: Denison Hatch

Reps: Circle of Confusion (Noah Rosen)

Buyer: Lionsgate

Genre: Action thriller

Attachments: Tim and Trevor White (“Jamesy Boy”) will co-produce.

Notes: John Sacchi and Matt Janzen will oversee for Lionsgate.

Logline: TBA, but Variety called it an “international thriller.”

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.