Historically, the most effective specialty units, like Fox Searchlight, Focus Features, the old Miramax and Sony Pictures Classics, have been autonomous, able to operate without too much studio intervention. Obviously they have to make their numbers and meet expectations, but the less interference, the better. Clipping Miramax's wings, reducing its output (just what the indie sector needs) and bringing them into the studio fold: not good. Big studios don't know how to do the heavy lifting on marketing and releasing specialty films. Another recipe for success: enlightened bosses who understand the vagaries of the specialty sector. What this reduces Miramax to, finally, is the library of 650 titles, created in most part by the Weinsteins.
The good news: cautious and experienced Miramax chief Daniel Battsek stays in charge at the division, for now. Disney's press release is on the jump:
Miramax Films will reduce the number of films it releases annually while consolidating certain of its operations within The Walt Disney Studios (TWDS), Alan Bergman, president, TWDS, announced today.
Daniel Battsek, president of Miramax Films, will continue to oversee all aspects of creative, development, production and business and legal affairs out of New York. TWDS will handle certain marketing, distribution, operations and administrative support functions from its Burbank headquarters.
“Disney has a first-rate marketing and distribution team operating globally,” Bergman said. “This restructuring maximizes operating efficiencies and provides significant cost savings while allowing Miramax to focus on its greatest strength; the creation of high-quality entertainment.”