We feel pretty guilty about putting the Scoggins Report on hiatus for the past couple of months with no warning, but we'd feel much worse if there'd been more activity during our absence. There were just 13 spec script sales in the whole of Q3 (July/August/September), bringing 2014's year-to-date tally to a whopping 50.
As we note in the intro to this week's Scoggins Report (embedded below), that's down significantly from each of the last three years; the numbers as of the end of September in 2013, 2012 and 2011 were 86, 105 and 94, respectively. As you'll see in the Spec Market Scorecard when we publish it mid-October, if this year's pace continues it'll be touch-and-go to avoid ending up with the lowest number of spec sales since the 2007/2008 WGA strike. Which is saying something, since 2010's total was 65, less than half 2011 and 2012's record total of 132.
But let's not borrow trouble. There's over a month left in the Fall selling season, several studio budgets are newly replenished, and October has been a big month for spec sales each of the last three years. So keep those fingers crossed as you peruse the July, August & September 2014 Spec Market Roundup. As always, you can click here to download it to your heart's content.
Lionsgate-Summit has acquired an opera comedy by Johnny Rosenthal ("Bad Santa 2," Columbia's "Iron Jack"). Patrick Aiello (the upcoming "As Above, See Below") will produce, with Erik Feig and Meredith Milton overseeing for the studio. You can click the title above for more details.
"Moonfall," a sci-fi thriller from rising scribe David Weil, has been purchased by AUDAX. The spec went out last month. Its principals, Andrew and Walter Kortschak, will produce. Weil's been on a bit of a roll. His "Arabian Nights" script-ment sold to Warner Bros. last month, with the studio eyeing a seven-film franchise. He's with CAA and Jessica Moresco of Unified Management. Click the title above for more details.
F. Scott Frazier's ("Autobahn," "Line of Sight") spy thriller has sold to Universal with Chris Morgan producing through his eponymous production company. Frazier's with CAA's David Kopple and DMG. The latter will produce with Morgan. As always, you can click the title above for more details.
We're playing catch up after taking a break in the first half of July. First up, the June 2014 Spec Market Roundup, which is embedded below. The numbers aren't great, but at least they're not as low as last month's Pitch Market. Speaking of which, since there was only one pitch sale last month but there have already been two in July, we'll do a combine June/July Pitch Market Roundup at the beginning of August.
Between now and then we'll squeeze in a Spec Market Scorecard so you can get the full picture of how 2014 is stackng up year-over-year. (Answer: Poorly. Very poorly.)
Here's the June 2014 Spec Market Roundup. As always, you can click here to download it to your heart's content.
Fox has purchased an action comedy from Drew Pearce ("IRON MAN 3"). The deal has him set to direct. Chernin Entertainment is producing. The busy Brit scribe turned in a draft of MI:5 and is working on the third installment of Sherlock Holmes. You can click the title above for more details.
The action comedy has landed at Universal with golden boy Will Packer and his head of film Barbara Dreyfus producing alongside Circle of Confusion's David Alpert and Julian Rosenberg. The project was previous set up at the now dissolved Strike. Erik Baiers is overseeing for the studio. Paul's with Rosenberg and Matt Martin at CAA. You can click the title above for more details.
A "Man on Fire" in tone sci-fi spec by Joe Gazzam ("Shadow Run") that hit tracking boards mid-June has been purchased by Relativity. The scribe is busy writing StudioCanal's "Cliffhanger" remake and rewriting "It Takes A Thief" for Universal. He's with Paradigm and Industry. As always, click the title above for more detais.
Bluegrass Films and Shine Pictures will produce an untitled Laura Solon (TVLand's "Hot in Cleveland") comedy for Universal. Beau Beauman will oversee for Stuber's company, Kristin Lowe for Uni. You can click the title above for more details.
As much as we strive not to dwell on the negative, neither do we allow ourselves to bury our heads in the sand. Or quicksand, as the case may be: After several month-over-month increases to a high for the year so far of 8 pitch sales in April, the 2014 Spring selling season reversed course in May and ended with a gasp in June. Last month's single pitch sale is the lowest monthly total since we began tracking pitches in 2011.
The effect on the year-to-date tally is predictable, as you'll see from the intro to this week's Scoggins Report. Not the best news to take into a holiday weekend, we grant you, but hey, the first step is to admit you have a problem, Hollywood.
As always, you can scroll down to check out the June 2014 Pitch Market Scorecard for yourself, or click here to download the PDF.
Happy 4th of July, and we'll be back next week with the somewhat cheerier June 2014 Spec Market Roundup.
Diane Ladd will star, produce and finance Sibley's drama. Demian Lichtenstein ("3,000 Miles to Graceland") is set to direct. You can click the title above for more details.
A couple of weeks ago we had a little trouble finding the silver lining behind the cloud that was May's spec sales numbers. June's numbers haven't been great so far either, but pulling the Spec Market Scorecard together this weekend uncovered a couple of key stats that provide some interesting context for the year's number's so far. You can see them for yourself in the introduction to this week's edition of the Scoggins Report, but here's the one that caught our eye first:
The studios have collectively bought about half of what they bought last year, which is good, since 6 studios that bought specs in each of the last 2 years have yet to break out their checkbooks in 2014.
We know, that's only a silver lining if you assume those six studios will step up in the second half of the year. But we do. So it is.
Either way, we'll let you discover for yourself which 6 studios we're referring to. You can scroll down to check out the June 2014 Spec Market Scorecard, or click here to download the PDF.
Haddon ("Savage Planet," "Hyde") has set this sci-fi at Columbia with Neal Moritz to produce through his Original Films banner. Toby Ascher will executive produce. Like most projects on the Sony lot these days, Michael De Luca will oversee. As always, you can click the title above for more details.
The veteran scribes' take on the iconic antihero was preemtpively purchased by Columbia's Michael De Luca. We'll see how things shake out, as he'll undoubtedly pit this project against Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," which saw David Fincher exit last year. Gough & Millar are with CAA.
2014 Spec Sales A list of each individual spec sale so far this year, in reverse chronological order.
2013 Spec Sales Last year's spec sales, in reverse chronological order.
Spec Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the spec market.
Spec Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling specs.
Pitch Market Roundups Our monthly recap of the pitch market.
Pitch Market Scorecards The year-to-date numbers for who's been buying and selling pitches.
Year End Scorecards Compendia of each year's spec and pitch markets, from 2009 through 2012.
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