This year’s Sundance Film Festival that was held from 18th January to 28th January at Park City, Utah, United States was a low key affair where two stalwarts like Amazon Studios and Netflix showed less interest in buying of films than in previous years.
After the streaming giants combined for double-digit acquisitions the last two years at the said festival, both dramatically jammed their brakes this year.
This led to a lot more action for the traditional distribution companies, and more activity for foreign sales agents who had basically been sidelined the last few years as Amazon and Netflix took worldwide rights in their acquisitions.
Some felt this was just one of those years at Sundance where the line up didn’t have many attractive commercial titles, as compared to the last couple of years.
The films that were on sale included Mudbound (which Netflix bought), The Big Sick (Amazon), Icarus (Netflix) and Manchester by the Sea (Amazon).
But many of those in the industry said that this year’s Sundance marked the new game plan of both the companies going forward and buying indie movies wasn’t a big part of it.
2016 was the first time the acquisition teams for Amazon and Netflix showed up with a binge mentality to Sundance.
That year, both the cos left having bought six titles each Then last year, Netflix walked away with a staggering 10 titles bought (including a $12.5 million buy for Mudbound), while Amazon took five (including $12 million for The Big Sick). None of the companies has bought a single title that played at the 2018 festival yet.