Paramount Pictures announced on Wednesday that it had acquired worldwide distribution of the Chris Rock comedy “Top Five,” which premiered at Toronto to rave reviews over the weekend.
The deal, according to sources, was said to close at a whopping $12.5 million, which will likely make it the biggest out of the festival. The studio has agreed to spend another $20 million on P&A, Variety has learned.
Rock directed and starred in the film about a comedian-movie star which is told over the course of a single day. Scott Rudin and Barry Diller financed the picture, which had a budget of more than $10 million.
“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 CEO Brad Grey said in a statement.
The deal was negotiated by UTA and Paramount’s Eben Davidson and Rona Cosgrove.
Paramount has given Chris Rock’s comedy “Top Five” a release date of Dec. 5 in the U.S. followed by a wide release on Dec. 12.
The studio acquired worldwide distribution of “Top Five” a week ago following its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival to strong reviews.
At the Variety Studio in Toronto, Rock said he hoped the film would get a release this year so Rosario Dawson can get an actress nomination. Dawson beamed and laughed, and thanked her costar-director.
The “Top Five” dates follow closely on Sony Classics’ announcement that it will open the Julianne Moore vehicle “Still Alice” this year as well.
Though the best-actor derby is already overcrowded, the five Oscar slots for best actress have fewer contenders, with strong possiblities so far including Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”; Shailene Woodley, “The Fault in Our Stars”; Hillary Swank, “The Homesman”; and Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything.”
The $12.5 million “Top Five” deal was the biggest transaction of the festival, and the studio will spend another $20 million on P&A.
Rock directed and starred in the film about a comedian-movie star which is told over the course of a single day. Scott Rudin and Barry Diller financed the project.