Last week, there was a regular battle royal of a bidding contest at the Sundance Film Festival -- Park City, Utah, will never be the same. OK, so I'm having a bit of fun here via hyperbole. But according to an article in last week's Hollywood Reporter, Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF) beat out Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) New Line Cinema for the qualified global rights to a new independent film.

The film, entitled Hard Candy, was given life by Vulcan Productions, in association with Launchpad Productions. Vulcan Productions is a movie concern created by one of the original co-founders of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) -- none other than Mr. X Prize himself, Paul G. Allen (making movies, playing guitars, setting in motion OS monopolies... this guy is a true renaissance man). The movie's reportedly about something brewing between a teenage girl and a man quite a few years her senior, which leads to a volatile dose of thrilling tension -- hey, sounds marketable to me.

Lions Gate Films -- which will be distributing the movie everywhere except the U.K., Australia, and Spain -- had quite a bit of luck with another Sundance acquisition: last fall's cinematic shrine to debauched sadism, SAW, brought in over $55 million, according to That's a lot of bloody dollars, and shareholders watch every single acquisition that the company makes with a keen eye.

The Hollywood Reporter said that Lions Gate shelled out $2.25 million against 20% of Hard Candy's gross box-office haul: Relative to Hollywood standards, that's an economical deal for shareholders, especially if marketing costs can be kept to an efficient level and if the film performs reasonably well (the opening weekend needs to be strong). Sure, those with a stake in the company might pine for less participation on the part of the filmmakers, but competitive acquisitions always lead to a reality of concessions.

The biggest thing on a lot of people's minds these days is whether or not Lions Gate gets bought out by a larger media company; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's (NYSE:MGM) acquisition by an investment consortium led by Sony (NYSE:SNE) is still on the minds of many observers (and rightfully so, I might add). I'd say the possibility gets stronger every quarter; at the very least, there are certainly more acts to be written for Lions Gate's exciting script.

For Takes on Lions Gate Entertainment and Paul Allen, see:

Fool contributor Steven Mallas doesn't own any of the companies mentioned.