Former Exec David Bergstein Might End Up Running Miramax
Looks like the Weinsteins won't end up gaining control of Miramax after all. The LA Times published an intriguing update today on the Miramax auction, saying that two unexpected bigwigs have now entered into "exclusive negotiations" with Disney this weekend and are awaiting approval from lawyers before making it all official this Monday. Los Angeles construction magnate Ron Tutor and "his embattled film financier partner" David Bergstein are the two that will likely officially acquire Miramax early next week. Bergstein is the same disliked exec who ran both ThinkFilm and Capitol Films into the ground over the last few years.
So who are these guys and why is Bergstein so heavily disliked in the industry? Well, first of all, they're the highest bidders at around $700 million which beats out the $600 million that the Weinsteins were going to pay. Bergstein is described as a "dark horse" by Disney execs because of his involvement with several film companies that were "dragged" into bankruptcy court this year. A judge appointed a trustee to oversee the assets of those companies. Tutor and Bergstein originally tried to start a global digital distribution business that focused on internet and television on-demand as the priority means of earning money on film libraries.
I'd bet that when/if Tutor and Bergstein do get their hands on Miramax and its catalog of 611 films, they'll be pushing the more well known ones out to those new markets - online and on-demand. I was hoping that someone with some smarts would end up gaining control over Miramax so that they could potentially built it into a strong independent distributor again, like in its golden days, which is why I was kind of happy to see the Weinsteins at the head of the pack last month. But with these guys, I'm not sure, I'm worried they're just going to buy it and use it for its library and nothing else. I guess only time will tell - stay tuned. Thoughts?