January 24, 2012 – The Hollywood Reporter — Celeste and Jesse Forever, a romantic dramedy starring Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones, has sold to Sony Pictures Classics. The company acquired all North American, Latin American and Eastern European rights. Sources place the purchase price close to $2 million, with additional foreign rights still subject to heated bids.
The film, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and written by Jones and Will McCormack, premiered to a sold-out Eccles Theatre Friday night. Multiple buyers were in attendance, and the film attracted several bids.
Jones (Parks and Recreation) stars as a career-oriented woman married to her slacker high school sweetheart, Samberg (Saturday Night Live). Frustrated with his lack of ambition, she asks for a divorce, but the couple still spend all their time together. THR‘s critic said the film is “not outrageous or star-powered enough to set the box office ablaze,” but “it could connect with viewers who don’t walk in expecting an extension” of Samberg’s SNL schtick.
Producers are Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd and Lee Nelson. Chris Messina, Ari Graynor, Emma Roberts and Elijah Wood also star.
UTA handled the sale on behalf of the filmmakers.
It is Sony Pictures Classics’ second acquisition of the festival — the company previously acquired North American rights to Malik Bendjelloul‘s competition documentary Searching For Sugar Man.
Recent sales include For a Good Time, Call… to Focus Features and The Surrogate, which Fox Searchlight acquired for just under $6 million Monday. Sunday, LD Distribution picked up the thriller Black Rock for just over $1 million, and CBS Films acquired the drama The Words for a combined deal valued at $3.5 million. Competition documentary The Queen of Versailles found a home at Magnolia Pictures on Friday.