Gerard Butler has the most explosive deal of the Cannes 2021 market so far. Who would’ve thought?
The 2021 Cannes virtual market got its first bombshell as the Gerard Butler-starring “Greenland” sequel, “Greenland: Migration,” has sold to STX in a deal worth a whopping $75 million. Deadline first reported the news. The sequel was originally announced last month, with Butler and co-star Morena Baccarin confirmed to return and original director Ric Roman Waugh also attached.
As reported by Deadline: “STX is stumping up around $25M for domestic rights in a deal cut with Euro producer-seller Anton and CAA Media Finance. Multiple streamers were in the hunt for the movie. STX will also take all of international from Anton, in a pact which values foreign at around $50M. Anton took the project to the virtual market where it garnered significant interest from indie buyers, but — as often happens on successful franchise fare — STX, which distributed the original movie, had a matching option and was happy to take the plunge. The movie will now run through the studio’s foreign output partners and is being sold to buyers in other markets.”
In the original “Greenland,” Butler stars as a father and husband who fights to keep his family alive as a planet-destroying comet races to Earth. The sequel, subtitled “Migration,” will pick up with the family following the near-extinction of the planet as they leave their bunker and “embark on a perilous journey across the decimated frozen wasteland of Europe to find a new home.”
“Greenland” opened last year during the pandemic and grossed $52 million in theaters worldwide off a $35 million production budget. Deadline notes the film opened number one “in more than 26 offshore markets including Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Russia.” STX chose to skip a theatrical push in the U.S. and opened the movie straight to PVOD platforms in the middle of December. The decision paid off, as “Greenland” became a months-long PVOD chart opper.
IndieWire’s box office expert Tom Brueggemann reported in February 2021 that “Greenland” had “ranked at or near the top of the VOD charts ever since” it became available to purchase December 18, adding, “Chart placements aside, VOD financials are difficult to assess. However, evidence suggests that STX has already net $60 million-$80 million on the film’s $35 million budget.”
While Butler has seen his fair share of poorly-reviewed action movies, “Greenland” actually scored solid critical notices across the board. IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich awarded the movie a B review, writing, “By eschewing spectacle and focusing on the human scale of a crisis, ‘Greenland’ becomes the rare disaster movie that feels realistic.”