Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow, so far the one absolute knockout of the ’05 Sundance Film Festival, was acquired for theatrical distribution Saturday night by MTV/Paramount for $9 million. The total fee is actually $16 million for a 3-picture deal that will cover two other films to be produced and directed by Flow producer John Singleton for $3.5 million each. Paramount publicist Nancy Kirkpatrick called to say that Paramount’s newly-installed chief Brad Grey, marketing head Rob Friedman and production president Donald De Line saw it in Los Angeles on Saturday night while Viacom co-president and COO Tom Freston was catching it at the same time at the Park City Racquet Club. Freston was obviously in town to close a deal with Singleton and his Hustle & Flow producing partner Stephanie Allain and their UTA reps. Everybody had to be keenly interested in Hustle & Flow after Saturday’s levitational screening, but other suitors included Newmarket, Miramax, New Line, Fox SearchlightFox Searchlight, Warner Independent and Focus Features. The film is about a Memphis pimp (Terrence Howard, delivering a breakout performance equal to Morgan Freeman’s in Street Smart) trying to become a successful rapper, and the twists and turns he goes through in trying to achieve this. This is not just a great movie…but also a great musical, in that it lets you see and feel how music is created from the ground up.