For studios looking to buy at the Toronto International Film Festival, Chris Rock emerged a very hot property. The comedian’s Top Five sparked a bidding war, according to multiple reports, with Paramount emerging the victor and scoring the worldwide rights to the film, the studio announced today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio paid around $12.5 million for the film.
“Chris and I go back decades, both personally and professionally, and so I am particularly proud to have watched his career grow to its highest heights over many decades,” Paramount Chairman and CEO Brad Grey said in a statement. “This film showcases brilliantly how talented Chris is as a filmmaker and storyteller and we are thrilled to be partnering with him, Scott Rudin and my longtime friend, the legendary Barry Diller and IACF for its worldwide launch.”
Rock’s film, which he co-wrote and directed, garnered wide acclaim at the festival—Vanity Fair even called it Rock’s Annie Hall. In the film Rock plays Andre Allen, a comedian-turned-movie star, who is being profiled for the New York Times by a reporter played by Rosario Dawson. Gabrielle Union is Andre’s reality star fiancée, and a variety of comedians—including Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Kevin Hart, and Leslie Jones—also appear.
But Top Five isn’t the only film to score a deal at the festival. Here’s what studios have bought so far. We’ll be updating this post as more come in. (U.S. distribution deal unless otherwise noted.)