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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Miramax, LLC (also known as Miramax Films) is an American entertainment company known for producing and distributing films and television shows. Its headquarters are located in Los Angeles, California. Miramax was founded on December 19, 1979, by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and was a leading independent film motion picture distribution and production company before it was acquired by The Walt Disney Company on June 30, 1993, in the company's first acquisition. Miramax was sold by Disney to Filmyard Holdings, a joint venture of Colony NorthStar, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority, on December 3, 2010, ending Disney's 17-year ownership of the studio.[1][2] On March 2, 2016, the company was sold to the beIN Media Group. On December 20, 2019, beIN agreed to sell a 49% stake in the company to ViacomCBS, now known as Paramount Global. The sale was completed on April 3, 2020.

History

Independent era (1979–1993)

The company was founded by the brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, along with executive Corky Burger in Buffalo, New York, in 1979, and was named by combining the first names of their parents, Miriam and Max.[3] It was created to distribute independent films deemed commercially unfeasible by the major studios.

The company's first major success came when the Weinsteins teamed up with British producer Martin Lewis and acquired the U.S. rights to two concert films Lewis had produced of benefit shows for human rights organization Amnesty International. The Weinsteins worked with Lewis to distill the two films into one film for the American marketplace. The resulting film, the American version of The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, was a successful release for Miramax in the summer of 1982. This release presaged a modus operandi that the company would undertake later in the 1980s of acquiring films from international filmmakers and reworking them to suit American sensibilities and audiences. In its early years, Miramax had to focus primarily as a catalyst for music and decided to do a licensing agreement with Thorn EMI Video, in order to release several of Miramax's early films.[4]

Among the company's other breakthrough films as distributors in the late 1980s and early 1990s were Pulp Fiction; Scandal; Sex, Lies, and Videotape; Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!; The Crying Game, and Clerks. The company also made films such as Flirting with Disaster, Heavenly Creatures and Shakespeare in Love.

Miramax acquired and/or produced many other films that did well financially. The company became one of the leaders of the independent film boom of the 1990s. Miramax produced or distributed seven films with box office grosses totaling more than $100 million; its most successful title, Chicago, earned more than $300 million worldwide.[5]

The company was also successful in securing Academy Award nominations for its releases, many of which resulted in Oscar wins.

Disney era (1993–2010)

On June 30, 1993, Miramax was purchased for $60 million by The Walt Disney Company, giving Disney entry to the independent film market.[6] Bob and Harvey Weinstein continued to operate Miramax until they left the company on September 30, 2005. During their tenure, the Weinstein brothers ran Miramax independently of other Disney subsidiaries, and as a result had more autonomy than the other Disney-owned companies. Disney, however, had the final say on what Miramax could release (for examples, Disney had banned Miramax from releasing Kids, Dogma and Fahrenheit 9/11).[7] Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment division released Miramax output on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray Disc in some countries, including the U.S.; elsewhere, the overall distribution of Miramax's output was passed to the regional licensees of Miramax International, a distribution arm of Miramax that was fully autonomous from Disney's own distribution operations.

With a more stable budget, Miramax began moving beyond acquisitions and distribution and into film productions. Until September 30, 2005, the company also operated the label Dimension Films, which was solely founded by Bob to specialize in teen, horror, and other genre films,[6] and created the Scream and Scary Movie film franchises. Harvey funded larger projects and from up and coming directors including Robert Rodriguez, Gus Van Sant and Quentin Tarantino. Some of the films earned Oscars.[6]

In 1997, Miramax joined Peter Jackson as a primary financial backer in attempting to get the Lord of the Rings films produced. Disney disliked the cost of a two-parter, requesting that it be produced as a single film. Jackson and Saul Zaentz rejected Disney's request and looked for another studio or financier. Thus, Miramax sold the rights for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to New Line Cinema in August 1998 for about $12 million, which led The Lord of the Rings to be produced as a trilogy. Miramax retained a 5% stake in the films' gross and then gave 2.5% to the Weinsteins.[8]

Through Miramax, Harvey founded Talk magazine with Tina Brown in 1998 (it shut down in 2002), albeit without the approval of then-Disney chief Michael Eisner, which upset Eisner. Also that year, 30 former employees filed suit over unpaid overtime wages.[6]

By 2003, Miramax was less operative in the independent film market and became more of a mini-major as the company only acquired 3 films while producing Cold Mountain for $80 million. The Weinsteins claimed the company was profitable, but Walt Disney Co. president Robert Iger indicated in June 2004 that they were not properly accounting for "account standard overhead, distribution fees, bonuses that we pay Bob and Harvey. Nor are they applying current accounting rules."[6]

After extensive negotiations and much media and industry speculation, on March 30, 2005, Disney and the Weinsteins announced that they would not renew their contractual relationship when their existing agreements expired at the end of September 2005. The primary source of dispute was over distribution of Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore.[9] Disney's film studio consortium, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group, assumed control of Miramax, which was projected to have a smaller annual production budget. The Weinsteins started a new film production company called The Weinstein Company, and took the Dimension Films label with them. The Miramax name remained with the film studio owned by Disney. Production at Miramax was taken over by Daniel Battsek,[9] who had been head of Buena Vista International in the UK. Battsek refocused Miramax to produce films of high quality but low budget. Maple Pictures held the rights to distribute Miramax films in Canada from 2008 up until August 10, 2011, when Maple Pictures was acquired by Alliance Films.[10]

On October 3, 2009, Disney announced that the staff of Miramax was to be reduced by 70%, and the number of releases would be reduced by half to just three films per year. The label's marketing, distribution and administrative functions, which had operated independently, would be folded into the parent studio in Burbank. The move became effective in January 2010.[11] On October 30, 2009, Disney announced the resignation of Daniel Battsek as President of Miramax Films, effective when the transition from the studio in New York to Burbank was completed.[12] The company merged its operations with The Walt Disney Studios on January 28, 2010, shutting down Miramax's separate New York and Los Angeles offices.[9][13]

Though Disney Studio Chairman Dick Cook was a staunch supporter of Miramax, the brand was less of a priority for CEO Bob Iger, whose strategy was to focus on Disney's branded mass entertainment that could be exploited across Disney's theme parks, television and consumer products. Following Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment in 2009, Cook was succeeded by Rich Ross.[14] As a result, Miramax was relegated to the status of distribution label within the Walt Disney Company.[15] The company confirmed that it was looking into selling the Miramax label on February 9, 2010, with Bob Iger explaining "We determined that continuing to invest in new Miramax movies wasn't necessarily a core strategy of ours".[16]

Other companies era (2010–2019)

Miramax logo used beginning in 2010, used since 2018 (with byline) as a print logo on posters
Miramax logo used beginning in 2010, used since 2018 (with byline) as a print logo on posters

On December 3, 2010, Disney closed the sale of Miramax for US$663 million to Filmyard Holdings, an investment group and joint venture of Colony NorthStar, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority. The sale included 700 film titles, books, development projects, and the "Miramax" name. Mike Lang, the former News Corporation business development executive who was selected as the CEO of Miramax,[17] indicated that the company would focus on their existing library, though they would continue making original content.[18][19]

After the sale was closed, some films already developed at Miramax, including The Tempest and Gnomeo & Juliet, were eventually released by Disney under its Touchstone Pictures banner, and theatrical distribution of Don't Be Afraid of the Dark[20] and The Debt[21] were shifted to FilmDistrict and Focus Features respectively.

On December 16, 2013, Miramax entered into a deal with Bob and Harvey Weinstein's The Weinstein Company to develop and distribute select derivative works of films from the former studio. Sequels, television series, or stage productions of titles such as Rounders and Shakespeare in Love were among the projects said to be part of this agreement.[22][23][24]

On July 17, 2015, Qatar and Colony NorthStar put Miramax up for sale for an offer of $1 billion.[25][26][27] Harvey and Bob Weinstein had reportedly regained interest in reacquiring the studio via TWC in September.[28][29][30][31][32][33] On March 2, 2016, Miramax was sold to beIN Media Group, a spinoff of Al Jazeera Media Network (which formerly owned its namesake beIN Sports).[34][35][36]

In a July 2016 interview Harvey Weinstein stated that he was still interested in combining TWC's film library with Miramax's, after the acquisition of the latter by beIN.[37]

After Miramax's co-founder Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault, Miramax became one of 60 parties bidding on The Weinstein Company on January 16, 2018.[38] On April 27, Miramax and Lantern Capital emerged as the strongest contenders to acquire TWC's assets. Ultimately, it was Lantern that acquired TWC's library.[39]

On June 7, 2019, beIN began the process of selling approximately 50% of Miramax in an effort to offer it for growth.[40] Lionsgate (which distributed Miramax's titles on home video), Spyglass Media Group (owners of the Weinstein Company library, inherited via their deal with Lantern) and Viacom (Paramount's parent company who re-merged with CBS Corporation on December 4, 2019, to form ViacomCBS) were seen as the leading contenders to acquire a stake in the company.[41] By August 19, 2019, Lionsgate and Viacom were the only contenders, as Spyglass Media Group dropped out of contention.[42] On September 11, 2019, it was announced Lionsgate had dropped their bid, making Viacom the only bidder for the stake in Miramax.[43] On November 8, 2019, Viacom exited the negotiations to acquire them.[44] After merging with CBS Corporation to become ViacomCBS, the combined firm resumed talks with Miramax.[45]

ViacomCBS/Paramount Global era (2019–present)

On December 20, 2019, ViacomCBS (now known as Paramount Global) announced it would acquire a 49% stake in Miramax for at least $375 million, with Paramount Pictures gaining exclusive worldwide distribution rights to its library. Paramount Pictures and Miramax will also co-produce new content based on titles from the library.[46] The deal officially closed on April 3, 2020.[47]

In June 2020, Miramax and ViacomCBS announced their first co-production, The Turkish Detective, a television series based on the Cetin Ikmen novels by Barbara Nadel.[48]

Criticism

The company was criticized for delaying or withholding release of Asian films to which it acquires the U.S. distribution rights[49] while trying to bar retailers from legally exporting authentic DVDs of the films.[50]

In a 2005 interview, Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki related that Harvey Weinstein aggressively sought a large number of edits to Miyazaki's anime film Princess Mononoke for the film's U.S. release. Miyazaki stated that his producer sent Weinstein a samurai sword with the message "No cuts" attached to the blade. According to Miyazaki, the film was released without the edits Weinstein wanted.[51] Weinstein has always insisted that such editing is done in the interest of creating the most financially viable film. "I'm not cutting for fun," Weinstein said in an interview. "I'm cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master — the film. I love movies."[6]

Divisions

Miramax Family & Miramax Animation
TypeDivision
IndustryAnimation
Motion pictures
Founded1991 (Original)
March 18, 2019 (Revival)
Defunct2006 (Original)
ParentMiramax

Miramax Family & Miramax Animation

Miramax Family & Miramax Animation (also known known as Miramax Family Films) are the family divisions of Miramax Films; originally founded as one singular company in 1991. The company would shut down in 2006. On March 18, 2019, Miramax revived its family and animation division, with both being founded as separate divisions within the company.

Michael Lachance, who had previously developed projects at DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures Animation, was named the division's executive vice president.[52]

Filmography

Film series

Title Release date Notes
Hellraiser 1992–2005 distribution under Dimension Films label
Children of the Corn 1993–2001 distribution under Dimension Films label
Three Colours 1993–1994 US distribution
The Crow 1994–2005 distribution under Dimension Films label
View Askewniverse 1994–2001; 2019 2019: co-production
Best of the Best 1995–1998 distribution under Dimension Films label
The Prophecy 1995–2005 distribution under Dimension Films label
Halloween 1995–2002; 2018–present 1995–2002: distribution under Dimension Films label
2018–present: co-production
From Dusk till Dawn 1996–2000 distribution under Dimension Films label
Police Story 1996–1999 US distribution under Dimension Films label
Hugo The Movie Star 1996–1998 US distribution
Scream 1996–2000 1996–2000: distribution under Dimension Films label
Operation Condor 1997 distribution under Dimension Films label
Mimic 1997–2003 distribution under Dimension Films label
Bounty Hunters 1997–2001 US distribution under Dimension Films label
Air Bud 1998–2003 US distribution under Dimension Films label; marketed as Disney presents[a]
She's All That 1999; 2021
Asterix and Obelix 1999–2002 Italy distribution
Scary Movie 2000–2006 distribution under Dimension Films label
Dracula 2000–2005 distribution under Dimension Films label
Spy Kids 2001–2003 distribution under Dimension Films label
Bridget Jones 2001–2016 2001: US distribution
2004 & 2016: co-production
Iron Monkey 2001–2002
Pokémon 2002–2005 US distribution
Bionicle 2003–2005
Kill Bill 2003–2004
Bad Santa 2003–2016 2003: US distribution under Dimension Films label
2016: co-production
Sin City 2005–2014 2005: distribution under Dimension Films label
2014: co-production

Films and TV shows distributed by Miramax Family & Miramax Animation are listed here.

Miramax Television

Miramax Television
TypeDivision
IndustryTelevision production
Founded1987; 35 years ago (1987)
Headquarters,
ParentMiramax

Miramax Television is the television production division founded in 1987, assigned to producing television shows based on the existing Miramax film library and original concepts. Its projects include the following:

Title Years Network Notes
The World of David the Gnome 1987 Nickelodeon English dub only; co-production with CINAR for BRB Internacional
Wasteland 1999–2000 ABC co-production with Outerbanks Entertainment
Clerks: The Animated Series 2000–2002 co-production with Touchstone Television, View Askew Productions, Woltz International Pictures, and Walt Disney Television Animation (uncredited)
Project Greenlight 2001–2005 HBO co-production with Adaptive Studios and Pearl Street Films
Tokyo Pig 2002–2003 ABC Family English dub only; co-production with Buena Vista Sound Services
Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee 2003 Food Network co-production with Follow Productions
Project Runway 2004–2011 Lifetime seasons 1–9 only; co-production with Bunim/Murray Productions, Full Picture Entertainment, Heidi Klum Productions, Magical Elves Productions, and The Weinstein Company Television (Seasons 2–16)
From Dusk till Dawn: The Series 2014–2016 El Rey Network co-production with Sugarcane Entertainment, FactoryMade Ventures, and Rodriguez International Pictures
Crow's Blood 2017 [54]
Gone Baby Gone 2018 N/A unaired TV pilot; co-production with 20th Century Fox Television
Mimic TBA based on the movie Mimic[55]
The Gentlemen TBA based on the movie The Gentlemen[56]

Notes

  1. ^ When Disney purchased Air Bud for an estimated $6 million for domestic rights and rights to sequels, the rights were through then-subsidiary Miramax Films, however sometime during development, it was moved to the Walt Disney Pictures label when it released in 1997.[53]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Disney sells Miramax film studios". BBC News. July 30, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "Disney sells Miramax to investment group for $660m". The Guardian. July 30, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. ^ Weinstein, Bob (April 2003). "All Thanks to Max". Vanity Fair.
  4. ^ "Miramax Marries Movies and Music" (PDF). Billboard. February 28, 1982. p. 55. Retrieved December 30, 2021.
  5. ^ "Chicago". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Mason, Ian Garrick (October 11, 2004). "When Harvey met Mickey". New Statesman. UK. Archived from the original on April 2, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
  7. ^ Stuart Miller (October 16, 2005). "The ripple effect". Variety. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  8. ^ Quinn, Karl (December 14, 2013). "Lord of the Rings a chronicle of legal disputes". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved November 6, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c "Miramax offices close, Disney says brand continues". Boston.com. Associated Press. January 29, 2010.
  10. ^ Etan Vlessing (June 21, 2011). "Analysts Welcome Lionsgate Selling Maple Pictures to Alliance Films". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ "Disney to slash Miramax films staff to 20, reduce released to 3 a year". linkoo.top. May 26, 2016. Archived from the original on June 1, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Brooks Barnes (October 31, 2009). "Daniel Battsek stepping down as President of Miramax". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Waxman, Sharon (January 27, 2010). "Miramax Dies: Rest in Peace". Retrieved February 8, 2010.
  14. ^ Eller, Claudia (September 24, 2009). "Will there be a place for Miramax in Disney's new movie script?". Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Graser, Marc (January 29, 2010). "Rich Ross reshapes Disney film studios". Variety.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "On the Call: Disney's CEO Bob Iger on Miramax". Business Insider. February 9, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Ryan Nakashima (December 5, 2010). "Disney completes $663M sale of Miramax". Associated Press via Yahoo! News. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011.
  18. ^ Lang, Brent (December 14, 2010). "Miramax CEO Lang Grilled: 'We're Focusing on the Library'". The Wrap.
  19. ^ "Disney sells Miramax for $660 million - Jul. 30, 2010". money.cnn.com. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  20. ^ "FilmDistrict To Distribute 'Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark' Remake". Deadline Hollywood. February 14, 2011.
  21. ^ "Focus Features to Distribute Miramax's THE DEBT Starring Helen Mirren and Sam Worthington". Collider. February 9, 2011. Archived from the original on February 26, 2020. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  22. ^ Dylan Stableford (December 16, 2010). "Miramax, Weinstein Co. to Produce Sequels to "Bad Santa," "Swingers" (updated)". The Wrap.
  23. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (December 16, 2013). "Miramax TWC Linkup Homecoming Means 'Shakespeare In Love' And 'Rounders' Sequels, And 'Good Will Hunting' Series".
  24. ^ "Press Release 12/16/13". Miramax.com (Press release). Archived from the original on March 15, 2015.
  25. ^ Rainey, James (July 17, 2015). "Miramax for Sale — But $1 Billion Pricetag May Be Too Rich". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  26. ^ Kinsey Low (July 17, 2015). "Investors Explore Sale Of Miramax For As Much As $1B: Report". Deadline. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  27. ^ Baker, Liana B. (July 17, 2016). "Film studio Miramax explores sale: sources". Reuters.
  28. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (September 9, 2015). "David Glasser Staying As Weinstein Company COO/President". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  29. ^ Faughnder, Ryan (September 9, 2015). "David Glasser to stay with the Weinstein Co. through 2018". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (September 9, 2015). "David Glasser Reverses Course, Staying at the Weinstein Co". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  31. ^ Lang, Brent (September 9, 2015). "Interview: David Glasser on Why He Decided to Stay at the Weinstein Co". Variety. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  32. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (September 30, 2015). "Weinstein's 'Shanghai' Surprise: Movie Gets Release After Seven Years". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  33. ^ Cieply, Michael (December 20, 2015). "The Weinstein Brothers Have Oscar Gold. Now They Need Cash". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  34. ^ Busch, Anita (March 2, 2016). "Miramax Acquired By Qatar-Based beIN Media Group". Deadline.
  35. ^ "beIN MEDIA GROUP Acquires MIRAMAX® - beIN EN".
  36. ^ Cieply, Michael (March 2, 2016). "Miramax Is Bought by the Qatari beIN Media Group". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  37. ^ Kilday, Gregg (July 21, 2016). "Harvey Weinstein Explains Recent Movie Release Shifts, TV Growth and Oscar Prospects (Q&A)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  38. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (January 16, 2018). "Miramax Parent Company Enters Fray for Weinstein Co".
  39. ^ Maddaus, Gene (April 27, 2018). "Miramax Emerges As Strong Contender in Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy Sale".
  40. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (June 7, 2019). "Qatar's beIN Media Group Seeking to Sell 50% Miramax Stake (Report)".
  41. ^ Schwartzel, Benjamin Mullin and Erich (August 2019). "Lions Gate, Spyglass Media, Viacom Are Leading Contenders to Buy Stake in Miramax". The Wall Street Journal.
  42. ^ Sakoui, Anoshua (August 19, 2019). "Viacom and Lions Gate Go Head-to-Head in Fight for Miramax Stake". Bloomberg.
  43. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 11, 2019). "Viacom in the Lead For Miramax Library, Lionsgate Withdraws Bid". Deadline.
  44. ^ Hayden, Erik; Bond, Paul (November 8, 2019). "Viacom Bows Out of Bidding for Miramax Library". The Hollywood Reporter.
  45. ^ Lang, Brent (December 10, 2019). "ViacomCBS and Paramount Resume Talks to Buy Stake in Miramax (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  46. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (December 20, 2019). "ViacomCBS Sets $375 Million Deal for 49% Stake in Miramax". Variety. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  47. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (April 3, 2020). "ViacomCBS Closes Purchase Of Stake In Miramax, With Distribution And First Look Deals". Deadline. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  48. ^ Kenter, Jake (June 24, 2020). "ViacomCBS International Studios Partners With Miramax On 'The Turkish Detective'". Deadline. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  49. ^ Epstein, Edward Jay (October 10, 2005). "The great illusionist". Slate. Retrieved January 11, 2007.
  50. ^ Katie Dean (December 15, 2003). "Studio Warns Kung Fu Site". Wired.
  51. ^ Brooks, Xan (September 14, 2005). "A god among animators". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved May 23, 2007.
  52. ^ Pedersen, Erik (March 18, 2019). "Miramax Hires Sony Animation Alum Michael Lachance As EVP Of New Family & Animation Unit".
  53. ^ "KEYSTONE COPS PIC". Variety. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  54. ^ "El Rey Network to Air "Crow's Blood" This Month!". Bloody Disgusting. October 17, 2017. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  55. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 4, 2020). "'Mimic': TV Series Reboot Of Sci-Fi Thriller Movie In Works At Miramax TV With Paul WS Anderson Directing". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  56. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2020). "'The Gentlemen' TV Series Based On Guy Ritchie's Movie In Works At Miramax With Ritchie Writing & Directing". Deadline. Archived from the original on October 2, 2020. Retrieved October 2, 2020.

Further reading

  • Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film by Peter Biskind (Simon & Schuster, 2004)

External links

This page was last edited on 3 August 2022, at 05:21
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