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Weinstein Co. Launches Indie Label, Poaches Magnolia's Tom Quinn

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 6, 2011 at 10:14AM

Marking a major loss for Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's Magnolia Pictures, The Weinstein Company is launching a new label focusing on innovative distribution strategies to be run by Magnolia's Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who will be co-presidents. The unnamed New York-based TWC label will "bring new films and other specialty entertainment to audiences simultaneously across multiple digital and traditional platforms," said the Weinsteins in a release.
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Thompson on Hollywood

Marking a major loss for Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's Magnolia Pictures, The Weinstein Company is launching a new label focusing on innovative distribution strategies to be run by Magnolia's Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who will be co-presidents. The unnamed New York-based TWC label will "bring new films and other specialty entertainment to audiences simultaneously across multiple digital and traditional platforms," said the Weinsteins in a release.

Many companies are trying to grab a piece of what could eventually be a profitable digital indie distribution market, including VOD pioneers Magnolia, IFC Films and Cinetic Digital Media. Both Quinn and Janego have learned a lot about emerging digital platforms and alternative distribution strategies during their stints at Magnolia, where they were senior vice president and head of legal & business affairs, respectively. In 2005, Magnolia released Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble and Alex Gibney’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room day and date in theaters and on DVD. They went onto release films via the premium VOD/theatrical platform model, from James Gray's Two Lovers and Neil Marshall's Centurion to Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, Gibney's Client 9 and Freakonomics.

TWC hopes that the new label will allow them "to premiere select titles across multiple platforms via immediate-access digital and traditional media and will bring TWC’s unique, high-quality films to larger audiences than ever before." Quinn and Janego plan to develop content and distribution strategies that move beyond the on-demand model, with a goal of branding the new label for audiences. Quinn and Janego will oversee acquisitions, productions and distribution of label content, which will presumably be extremely low budget.

Both execs will on the ground hunting for product at Toronto, with the intention of starting to fill a 2012 release slate in the spring. Rumors of the new Weinstein venture were circulating in Telluride.

This article is related to: Indies, Independents, Genres, Magnolia, Weinsteins


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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.