Apple Nabs Cooper Raiff’s ‘Cha Cha Real Smooth’ for $15 Million Out of Sundance

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Cooper Raiff’s “Cha Cha Real Smooth” is officially dancing to Apple TV Plus. The tech giant has nabbed the second feature from the heat-seeking director out of this year’s virtual edition of the Sundance Film Festival.

Apple emerged victorious from a competitive bidding situation that attracted Netflix, Amazon and Sony Pictures as potential buyers.

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The deal was brokered by ICM Partners, WME and Endeavor Content. It closed close to $15 million, an individual familiar with the talks stated.

“Cha Cha Real Smooth” stars Raiff as a recent graduate working as a bar mitzvah hype man. While on the job, he strikes up a unique friendship with a young mother (Dakota Johnson) and her teenage daughter (Vanessa Burghardt). Leslie Mann, Evan Assante, Raúl Castillo and Odeya Rush fill out the ensemble.

Erik Feig’s PictureStart and Johnson and Ro Donnelly’s TeaTime Pictures produced the film alongside Endeavor Content. The movie walked into this year’s Sundance Film Festival as one of the buzziest sales titles. Raiff’s 2020 debut “Shithouse” won the grand jury prize at the SXSW Film Festival, placing the writer-director on the map.

The price tag on “Cha Cha Real Smooth” represents the highest purchase yet for this year’s virtual Sundance market. Last year, Apple also signed a record-breaking $25 million check for “CODA,” which is currently making the awards rounds.

Additional titles that have found distributors at this year’s Sundance include “Fire of Love” and “The Territory” to National Geographic, “Living” to Sony Pictures Classics and “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” to Searchlight and Hulu.

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