Even More [news] on Weinsteins vs Miramax [April 9]
Top talent follows Weinsteins after Miramax-Disney split
The producers behind some of Hollywood’s most heralded and controversial films are moving ahead after their divorce last week from The Walt Disney Co.
Disney kept the name Miramax and its film library, but Bob and Harvey Weinstein are lining up a slate of films for their new company, called the Weinstein Co. for now.
During the rocky 12-year corporate marriage, Miramax produced 550 films that grossed $4.5 billion at the U.S. box office. Those films received 220 Oscar nominations and 53 wins, including three best pictures, “The English Patient,” “Shakespeare in Love” and "Chicago."
Though on contract to Disney until September, the Weinsteins already are working with the writers and directors who crafted the hits for Miramax and its horror division, Dimension Films.
“They keep the old business, we keep the ongoing business,” Harvey Weinstein said in a teleconference last week.
Weinstein said the new Weinstein Co. will walk away "with the relationships of what we believe are some of the most significant and the most profitable filmmakers in the world."
That includes writer/directors Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction,” “Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2”), Kevin Smith (“Clerks,” “Chasing Amy”), Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City,” “Spy Kids”) and Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient,” “Cold Mountain”). All were little-known figures until the Weinsteins took a chance on them.
Says Rodriguez, whose “Sin City” is this week’s No. 1 movie, "If they’re moving somewhere, you gotta go with them, or what, you’re going to start making regular movies? They’ve still got the same taste. And they’ve got more to prove now, so they may do even better material."
Harvey Weinstein said the new company aspires to be not just a movie production house but a multimedia empire with books, magazines, cable channels and Internet outlets. (Miramax’s previous effort at a magazine, Talk, failed.) "This will finally give Bob and me the entrepreneurial opportunities that we’ve long sought."
Taking on provocative subjects will be easier to do. Last year, Disney refused to let Miramax release the President Bush-mocking “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The film became the first documentary blockbuster, taking in $119.2 million.
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[quote]Harvey Weinstein said the new company aspires to be not just a movie production house but a multimedia empire with books, magazines, cable channels and Internet outlets.[/quote]