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Sundance 2017 Reality Check: How the Big Deals Did at the Box Office

Sundance 2017 Reality Check: How the Big Deals Did at the Box Office

The 2017 Sundance Film Festival provided one of the strongest markets on record. The box-office results, however, tell another story. While big buy “The Big Sick” was a big hit, second only to “Lady Bird” in the specialty marketplace, many smaller Sundance films remained just that: small, often earning less than their acquisition costs.

For some movies, small is a victory. Kogonada’s “Columbus,” which screened in the 2017 Next section, received the Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship grant to fund its inaugural self-distribution partnership. “Columbus” grossed more than $1 million — more than Fox Searchlight’s “Patti Cake$” ($9.5 million buy, less than $1 million domestic), and more than one might expect for a meditative romance set among the architecture of Columbus, Ind.

Three Sundance 2107 films — “Get Out” (Universal), “The Big Sick” (Amazon/Lionsgate) and “Wind River” (Weinstein) grossed over $250 million combined in domestic theaters. However, only “The Big Sick” came to Sundance without a distributor.

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