EFM 2011: North American Rights For WKW's GRANDMASTERS Go To Annapurna Productions

Founder and Editor; Toronto, Canada (@AnarchistTodd)
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EFM 2011: North American Rights For WKW's GRANDMASTERS Go To Annapurna Productions
To say that this is odd would be an understatement.

North American distribution rights for Wong Kar Wai's Grandmasters have been purchased by Annapurna Productions. A company, it should be pointed out, which is not actually a distributor. So how it's going to get on screens or on shelves is a bit of a mystery for the time being.

As a production company Annapurna are backing John Hillcoat's upcoming The Wettest County In The World and Andrew Dominik's Cogan's Trade, so they clearly have good taste but it's more than a little surprising that a film this high profile went to a company that has completed production on only two projects, neither of which has secured release anywhere, and has no distribution infrastructure while several other better established players were left on the sidelines.

This whole film thing could prove to be a very expensive hobby for Annapurna head, heiress Megan Ellison.
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via The Hollywood Reporter

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GeneralErrorFebruary 18, 2011 4:53 PM

Maybe they are just grabbing it before WB has a chance to buy/lock it in their vault with no intention of releasing it?

Bob ViolenceFebruary 18, 2011 5:16 PM

I get the reference here (those Golden Harvest titles they snagged in '98), but unless I missed something, Warner hasn't picked up an HK/Chinese film in years -- I think the last one was the Miramax version of The Promise that Warner Independent Pictures somehow ended up with (WIP itself no longer exists). Hell, they didn't even get U.S. rights to Connected (Tai Seng handled it instead) and that was a WB co-production. I can't imagine they'd take any interest in this.

Rhythm-XFebruary 18, 2011 6:31 PM

If anyone is going to buy the rights to this and then shelve it until rampant internet piracy renders those rights essentially worthless, I'd guess Sony or the Weinsteins. Possibly Indomina if they're still in business.