‘Palm Springs’ sets a Sundance record in USD17.5M sale

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — The comedy Palm Springs, by Andy Samberg and the Lonely Island, has set an acquisition record at the Sundance Film Festival by 69 cents.

Indie distributor Neon and the streaming service Hulu bought Palm Springs for exactly USD17,500,000.69 in a sale announced on Monday evening at the Park City festival. The previous record Sundance sale was the USD17.5 million Fox Searchlight paid for Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation.

In a statement, Samberg and his Lonely Island partners Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, along with producer Becky Sloviter, joked that the financial terms of the deal were unfavourable. “We spent over USD85 million of our own money on this movie, WE ARE TAKING A BATH on this deal,” they said.

“We hope Neon and Hulu are happy but we definitely have a lot of explaining to do to our families.” Palm Springs, directed by Max Barbakow, stars Samberg and Cristin Milioti as a pair of wedding guests who are trapped living the same day over again in the Southern California desert town. The film, one of the most obviously commercial at this year’s Sundance, drew acclaim after its premiere last Sunday for its clever twist on the Groundhog Day premise.

Cristin Milioti (L) and Andy Samberg pose for a portrait to promote the film ‘Palm Springs’ at the Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival. PHOTO: AP