Written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Martin McDonagh, it stars Ralph Fiennes, Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.
McDonagh is an award-winning playwright whose previous works include "The Lieutenant of Inishmore," "The Lonesome West" and "The Pillowman."
He won an Academy Award for best live-action short film in 2006 for "Six Shooter," which also featured Brendan Gleeson.
"In many ways, 'In Bruges' is a quintessential Sundance film it's brutal, philosophical, funny and totally original," Geoffrey Gilmore, executive director of the festival, said in a statement.
"In Bruges," which will be released by Focus Features, tells the story of two hitmen (Farrell and Gleeson) who botch a job and are ordered by their boss (Fiennes) to hide out in Bruges, Belgium.
This year's opening-night film "Chicago 10," written and directed by Brett Morgen, is scheduled for release in February.
The 2006 opener was "Friends With Money," written and directed by Nicole Holofcener and starring Jennifer Aniston, Catherine Keener, Frances McDormand and Joan Cusack.
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The Sundance Film Festival runs Jan. 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.