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Disney Negotiates with Tutor and Bergstein for Miramax, Gores Brothers Moving on Overture/Starz

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood June 4, 2010 at 7:36AM

Am I the only one who looks at what's going on in the movie industry with dismay? The LAT writes a story that New Line Cinema is making a comeback after the disastrous Sex and the City 2? (Patrick Goldstein, assuming the movie would score, was doing a solid for Toby Emmerich.) Now comes news that Warner Bros. is actually considering a third installment! I don't want to see any of the wide-release movies opening this weekend (including Marmaduke, Killers and Get Him to the Greek). I see more ads than ever for movies that I consider musts-to-avoid, and when I dutifully check them out (Hot Tub Time Machine, Clash of the Titans), I wish I hadn't.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Am I the only one who looks at what's going on in the movie industry with dismay? The LAT writes a story that New Line Cinema is making a comeback after the disastrous Sex and the City 2? (Patrick Goldstein, assuming the movie would score, was doing a solid for Toby Emmerich.) Now comes news that Warner Bros. is actually considering a third installment! I don't want to see any of the wide-release movies opening this weekend (including Marmaduke, Killers and Get Him to the Greek). I see more ads than ever for movies that I consider musts-to-avoid, and when I dutifully check them out (Hot Tub Time Machine, Clash of the Titans), I wish I hadn't.

Now comes news that Disney is actually entering exclusive negotiations for Miramax with construction magnate Ron Tutor and beleaguered financeer David Bergstein, reports the LAT. I find this horrifying. Bergstein is responsible for mismanaging one company after another, reportedly owes more than $1 million in unpaid Las Vegas gambling debts, and has a court-appointed trustee overseeing the assets in a bankruptcy case. What are they thinking? Just making a sale is enough here? That Miramax library belongs in good hands.

With original Miramax owners the Weinsteins unable to come to terms with Disney, I'm rooting for billionaires Tom and Alec Gores, who offered less money for Miramax and are now trying to acquire Overture and Starz Media. The Gores brothers waited out Ron Burkle and the Weinsteins and plan to outlast Tutor and Bergstein too. It's highly likely that by talking to Tutor and Bergstein, Disney wants to push the Gores (who are capable of writing a clean check for cash) into increasing their bid.

If the Gores land Miramax as well as Overture/Starz Media, that would reunite the Miramax label with ex-Disney exec Chris McGurk, who actually knows how to run a specialty company, from UA to Overture. McGurk has lined up several offers for Overture/Starz Media Liberty Media czar John Malone to consider, but the deal will have to please his exacting standards, and he wants to sell Starz Entertainment as well, which complicates matters.

If the Overture/Starz deal goes through, given that the third Gores brother, adviser Sam, is chief of talent agency Paradigm (housed in the former MCA building on Crescent in Beverly Hills), that brings up shades of the mighty Hollywood fixer, Lew Wasserman. Charlie Rose should have the three Gores brothers on his show, as he did with the three Emanuel brothers. Born in Nazareth, the Gores have all done very well.


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