IFC Buys James Gunn’s Super

Super, which played like gangbusters at its Midnight Madness premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival (though Peter wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about it), has found a home at IFC Films. The film is the first to walk away with a major studio deal since the festival kicked off, and it will likely be one of the few that does.

IFC was the winner of an all-night bidding war, competing with Magnolia Pictures and three other bidders. Surprising for an indie studio that often plays it safe with low cost ventures, they’re paying a whopping seven-figures for the U.S. rights to the film. Learn what this deal means for the film after the break.

Deadline broke the news, and via Twitter, writer/director James Gunn alerted the Internet of his excitement: “In celebration I am right now jerking off over my deal memo!! Whoo hoo!!”

From a financial perspective, it’s odd that IFC would bid so high for the pic. Their track record at the box office hasn’t been particularly impressive, with any of their films—which, to my knowledge, have only ever garnered limited releases—being lucky to break a million. They no doubt make most of their profit on home video. But from the sounds of this deal, they plan on pushing Super harder than usual, which makes sense given the name talent involved and the project’s cult appeal. With the right marketing and buzz-building, they should be able to break a million or two easy with this one, and then turn that into a nice profit on DVD and Blu-ray.

They’re still cutting it closer than they’d probably like to, but it looks like they really wanted to add the title to their distribution catalog. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, either, considering that nearly every time there’s an interesting, entertaining & marketable indie effort released, it’s IFC or Magnolia that seem to be the studios behind it. Truth be told, Magnolia may have actually been a safer bet for the film, as they tend to have more success at the box office, and are a little more specifically geared towards genre fare like Super. IFC looks to be trying to change this though, mixing in oddball fare like The Human Centipede and The Good, The Bad, The Weird to their roster of artsy prestige pics like the Red Riding trilogy, The Killer Inside Me, and Enter the Void. Magnolia, meanwhile, has always maintained a nice balance of two, with I’m Still Here, Centurion, I Am Love, [Rec] 2, and Monsters topping their current line-up.

In any case, putting aside the film’s finances, it’s great to know that those of us with local indie theaters will likely get a chance to check out James Gunn’s twisted superhero flick in the near future.

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