Cannes: ‘Thor’ Director Taika Waititi’s ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ Sells Out Worldwide
Taika Waititi’s Sundance hit “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” has sold out for Protagonist Pictures. Waititi’s is shooting “Thor: Ragnorak,” the third instalment of the Marvel franchise.
Vertigo Releasing has acquired the film for the U.K., Synergy has taken it for France, and Front Row Entertainment for the Middle East. North America (co-repped by Protagonist and CAA) sold at Sundance to The Orchard, while local territories New Zealand and Australia were retained by the producers and are with Piki and Madman. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA) has scooped up all remaining territories.
Following critical success at Sundance, “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” has since played at South By Southwest, Hawaii and Tribeca, most recently winning audience awards for narrative feature at the San Francisco Intl. Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, and Montclair Film Festival. The film releases theatrically in Australia on May 26, and in U.S. on June 24.
The adventure comedy stars newcomer Julian Dennison as a city kid who is moved to the country to live with a new family, and ends up on the run in the bush with his foster uncle Hec (played by Sam Neill).
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” has just become the highest-grossing local film ever in New Zealand, taking NZ$9.6 million ($6.52 million) over seven weeks, surpassing previous record-holder, “Boy,” also from Waititi, which grossed in excess of NZ$9.3 million ($6.32 million) in 2010. Waititi (with co-director Jemaine Clement) also holds the seventh slot on the top box-office list for 2014’s “What We Do in the Shadows.”