The 2016 Sundance Film Festival will go down as the year the streaming giants took over.
Even before the festival began, Netflix and Amazon were aggressive with pre-buys, but then when everyone touched down in Park City, Utah, they kicked it up a notch.
Though the traditional indie distributors tried to put up a good fight — like Fox Searchlight, which broke a Sundance record with a $17.5 million deal to acquire one of the hit films from this year’s fest, “Birth of a Nation” — it’s more than evident that Netflix’s and Amazon’s checkbooks were much larger than anyone else’s.
As one source at a theatrical distributor told Business Insider during the fest, “We are shooting bullets, but Netflix and Amazon are using machine guns!”
Here’s a breakdown of all the movies you’ll be seeing on Netflix and Amazon in the coming year:
This mother-daughter drama starring Ellen Page and Allison Janney was one of the titles nabbed by Netflix before the festival began. Theatrical rights for the movie are still in play, as Netflix only took worldwide streaming rights.
Amazon also got in on the fun before the festival began and bought this film, which stars Rachel Weisz and Michael Shannon as two strangers who meet at a dinner party. Amazon is planning a fall release and looking for a theatrical partner.
One of the most hyped titles before 'Birth of a Nation' premiered was the third film by Kenneth Lonergan ('Margaret'). Amazon quickly grabbed it for a hefty price after it premiered. The Oscar buzz has already started with this one, which stars Casey Affleck, Gretchen Mol, and Michelle Williams.
One of the best horrors you'll see this year, the movie was quickly picked up by Netflix (for an undisclosed amount) after its premiere. Then days later, Vertical Entertainment and XYZ Films announced that they would partner to release the movie theatrically. Check this one out in theatres -- it's a movie you want to see in the dark with a crowd of people.
Amazon also took this period drama (for an undisclosed amount) by director Whit Stillman ('The Last Days of Disco'), adapted from a Jane Austen novella. Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny star in it. Roadside Pictures has jumped on to release it theatrically.
This doc that focuses on online bullying from the perspective of two girls, who live on opposite sides of the country, will play on Netflix (which bought the film for an undisclosed amount) later this year.
To get the latest film from legendary American independent-film auteur Todd Solondz ('Happiness'), Amazon went and closed a deal to stream as well as theatrically release the movie -- as they are currently doing with Spike Lee's 'Chi-Raq.' The movie follows a dog as it spreads joy throughout the country to a group of outsiders.
One of the most moving documentaries of the festival is this look at former NFL player Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS at 34 and given five years to live. Since then, he's done everything from skydiving to launching the most recognisable ALS organisation, Team Gleason. Amazon will handle the streaming while Open Road Films will be releasing the film theatrically (both deals there done for an undisclosed amount).
Netflix is nearing a deal to land this sex comedy that follows a group of nerdy college kids in 1980s India. The way things are going, the only other company likely to come in and nab the movie from them is Amazon.
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