While the toned-down vibe at the Sundance Film Festival this year means an absence of overt logo-plastered edifices and D-list swag houses, it doesn’t mean a lack of movie buzz.

Several releases led by A-list movie stars are making their premieres in Park City this week: “The Runaways,” which according to most critics has lived up to its hype, ditto Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give” starring Catherine Keener, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet. But the verdict is still out on Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids Are All Right,” starring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, Joel Schumacher’s “Twelve” and romantic ensemble comedy “The Romantics” with Katie Holmes, which all premiere later this week.

This story first appeared in the January 26, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Despite the myriad quality films up for grabs in competition, buyers and studios seem hesitant to dig into their wallets just yet. Low-budget fest faves such as the comedy “Douchebag” and the documentary “Catfish,” about the consequences of a MySpace relationship, have yet to find homes. But Davis Guggenheim’s documentary on public school education, “Waiting for Superman,” was snapped up by Paramount Vantage (which also distributed “An Inconvenient Truth”), the Ryan Reynolds Iraq thriller “Buried” was bought by Lionsgate for $3 million to $4 million, and Robert Rodriguez’s “Machete” was picked up by Overture. It’s likely many of these deals won’t be inked until the end of the fest on Sunday or even later, as studios are still being cautious with their dollars.

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