Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Woody Allen Reveals Cast of His Next Film Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc Teasing More Toronto Reveals: How the Festival Landed Opener 'Demolition' and that Secret Michael Moore Doc The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' The Surprisingly Complicated Legacy of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Robert Pattinson Follows Harmony Korine to Miami for Revenge Thriller 'The Trap' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Weinstein Co. and Radius Figure Out Hybrid Amazon Release Plan for Fassbender's 'Macbeth' Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Top 10 Takeaways: 'Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation' Opens Strong, But Summer 2015 Has Peaked Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Arthouse Audit: Controversy Reigns as 'End of the Tour' Tops Limited Newbies and Weinstein Dumps Jeunet's Latest Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Friday Box Office: Cruise and 'Mission: Impossible' Do Their Part, But Grosses Lag Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Fall Calendar Reveals Awards Itinerary and Stealth Contenders Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Sarajevo Film Fest Lineup Has Auteurs, Cannes Winners and Favorites Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) Jason Segel Takes On David Foster Wallace in Controversial 'End of the Tour' (VIDEO) First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films First Look: Cynthia Nixon Plays—and Narrates—Emily Dickinson in Two Films Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Troubled Western 'Jane Got a Gun' Rescued as Relativity Files for Bankruptcy (Updated) Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies Read Martin Scorsese's Column on His Favorite Hollywood Leading Ladies A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution A Woman in Charge: Warner Bros. Names Sue Kroll Head of Global Distribution 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film 'The Witch' Won't Open Until 2016, But Its Sundance-Winning Director Has a New Film How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans How HBO's 'Ballers' Fails Sports Fans Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Showtime Chief on David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' Revival: "It's His Show" Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Toronto Film Festival Lineup: What Did They Get? Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers Jill Soloway Says "There Is an All Out-Attack" on Female Filmmakers

Sad But True: Miramax is Dead

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 30, 2010 at 6:30AM

It's a sad day. Miramax is no more.
1
Thompson on Hollywood

It's a sad day. Miramax is no more.

I am sickened and dismayed that Disney CEO Robert Iger was willing to sell Miramax Films to an investor group led by 69-year-old L.A. construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack and Colony Capital LLC. (Disney's news release omits Morgan Creek CEO Jim Robinson, who was interested in joining the combine).

"The Walt Disney Company announced today the sale of Miramax Films to Filmyard Holdings LLC for over $660 million subject to certain adjustments. Partners in Filmyard include Los Angeles businessmen Ron Tutor, Tom Barrack, Colony Capital LLC and other individuals. The transaction is subject to certain regulatory approvals and is expected to close between September 10, 2010 and the end of the calendar year."

Disney CEO Robert Iger stated:

"Although we are very proud of Miramax's many accomplishments, our current strategy for Walt Disney Studios is to focus on the development of great motion pictures under the Disney, Pixar and Marvel brands. We are delighted that we have found a home for the Miramax brand and Miramax's very highly regarded motion picture library."

Tutor, despite any claims to the contrary, is inextricably linked with beleaguered financeer David Bergstein, an irresponsible fly-by-night operator who could wind up in jail. Just last week a federal bankruptcy court judge ordered Tutor to be deposed over their ongoing business relationship. Just read Alex Ben Block's interview with Tutor and it's clear that he is still in league with Bergstein:

"There's something very nice about (Bergstein) when you meet him, he's very charming," Tutor said. "But as I've told him a number of times, he needs to look inward. All the sick things he did, gambling money he didn't have, trying to grow a business he didn't know and borrowing the way he did, and the madness, to sum it up, of what took place, he's got to learn from it because it virtually destroyed him. If you don't learn from your mistakes, you just continue to make them."

For Tutor, buying Miramax is a money move to exploit a library of 700 titles including Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill and the Oscar-winning Pulp Fiction, No Country for Old Men, Chicago, Shakespeare in Love and The English Patient. If Disney had been willing to sell the company for less than Tutor's $660 million to Ron Burkle and the Weinsteins, they would have kept the company, named after their parents, alive and running, with respect for the films they nurtured over the years. Disney had been entertaining bids since January; the Gores brothers were trying to combine Overture and Miramax, but that was also not to be.

The other disadvantage of this deal is the ongoing relationship with the Weinsteins, points out the NYT:

As much as $150 million of the Miramax unit’s value, according to one person who was briefed on the transaction but asked for anonymity because the talks were private, remains tied to film franchises — including the “Spy Kids” and “Scary Movie” series — in which the Weinstein brothers have rights.

It remained unclear how Mr. Tutor’s group planned to deal with the Weinstein presence, given the brothers’ clear chagrin at not having prevailed in the bidding.

Now Miramax is effectively dead and buried and that's a sad and unnecessary thing. I know that Disney had a sales figure in mind, but I regret that the studio felt so little responsibility for the fate of its specialized label.

Here's the LAT, Hitfix and The Wrap.

The studio will release the remainder of the Miramax slate, including Julie Taymor's The Tempest, which closes the Venice Film Festival, the Jennifer Aniston relationship comedy The Switch, John Madden's spy thriller The Debt, starring Helen Mirren, and producer Guillermo Del Toro's Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, which presented well-received footage at the recent Comic-Con.

This article is related to: Directors, Independents, Studios, News, Guillermo Del Toro, Weinsteins, Disney


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.