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The Weinsteins Win Back Miramax for $600 Million - Updated

by
April 15, 2010
Source: Hollywood Reporter

The Weinsteins - Miramax

And we're right back at where we started. THR is reporting that Hollywood powerplayers Bob and Harvey Weinstein have won the auction for the indie distributor Miramax today with a top bid of around $600 million. Where they got that money, I don't know. Miramax was founded in 1979 by the Weinsteins and sold to Disney in 1993. They then started their own company, The Weinstein Company, which still runs today, but has been on the verge of closing down due to a lack of successful films in recent years. In January, it was reported that Miramax would "close its doors" and be auctioned off, including the 611 films in its library.

This is almost kind of funny, just because it's so odd to see the Weinsteins cycle back around to owning the company they started. The same company that shut down this year because they haven't had much success recently either. Why would they be interested in running Miramax again? And where did they get that kind of money? Here's the answer: the Weinsteins have been partnering with a billionaire financier named Ron Burkle who has other investors involved as well. So while it's Burkle and his people who actually own it, it'll be the Weinsteins who run it. The name actually came from the names of their parents Max & Miriam.

THR says that Disney is still "going over the financial details provided by the Weinsteins," so this won't be officially announced for a little while. I'm not really sure what to say to this. I thought the Weinsteins we're slowly fading away, but this means they must be trying to make a hell of a comeback. And what will happen to The Weinstein Company? So many questions, but so few answers. But we'll be sure to keep you updated on all the latest. Do you think Miramax can return to power being run by the Weinsteins again?

Update: Well despite THR's claim that this is pretty much a done deal, Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood says otherwise. She says that Disney told her on the record that "no [Miramax] deal done and reports to the contrary are false." Well this just gets more and more interesting. So who should we believe? Is Disney just playing coy because this got out much earlier than they wanted it to? We'll find out soon enough, I'm sure!

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  • harm
    I think that their financers better have hella deep pockets if the Weinsteins are going to try and run things now like they did back then. Lot more competition in the indie game, lot of companies involved. And a higher quality than most Mirimax movies were known for. Will be interesting for sure.
  • Ben
    The Weinsteins can sell the shit out of anything. They managed to get Inglourious Basterds 8 Oscar noms and The Reader 5. They certainly know how to sell their products, so I'm not surprised after their recent downturn that they are trying a comeback. Do they also own Dimenson?
  • DiR3cT
    Good on them. Alex perhaps you should give Disney a ring!
  • L
    Honestly, I felt that I was missing a part of my film life when Miramax went under. It has brought a good number of indie titles that became film legends (or at least watchable a 2nd time). Pulp Fiction comes to mind. Nevertheless, there are a bunch of great indie companies out there these days, but I like to think that Miramax kind of bridged the gap between arthouse classic that no one would ever be able to see and big budget garbage that always looks sounds and feels the same, except with 2 different leads. And while you never hear anything except the Weinsteins being Jerks, they do push for some excellent movies.
  • pipo
    They should merge (MiriamMax and the WC) and rename themselves into the "Saved by Tarantino" Company.
  • Cineprog
    there is still no official report that the Weinsteins have acquired Miramax of Disney, I should wait to find out the full truth first.
  • Al
    Where do they get their money?
  • Corran Horn
    Harm: A year ago, I would have agreed. However, the indie branch of the film industry has been extensively pruned in the past few years. The only real competitors are Fox Searchlight, Focus Features (though they are tenuous given Universal's weakened state), and maybe Summit Entertainment (depending on what they choose to do with their Twilight $). More competition than in the 90s, yes, but less so than in the 00s. If/when this deal goes through, I think it will be a good thing. The Weinsteins seemed rudderless without Miramax to back them up, and Miramax lost its spark when its partner Paramount Vantage bit the dust (it was that collaboration that gave us No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood).

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