Disney says “No Dice” to Weinstein’s in Miramax Deal!
I love the Weinstein’s. They represent an old school image of the big, cigar chomping Hollywood producer of days gone by. But this week they failed to close a deal for more than 600 million dollars to reacquire the mini-studio they built, from the Walt Disney Company. Bob and Harvey Weinstein founded Miramax 31 years ago in New York City and named it after their parents Miriam and Max. They built the studio into a Mecca for independent films in the early 90’s with hits like Pulp Fiction and Shakespeare in Love.
Miramax was purchased by the Disney Company in 1993 for 80 million but continued to be run by the brothers until 2005 when the Weinstein’s decide to leave due to creative differences with Disney exec Michael Eisner.
After Bob and Harvey left they started a new venture with The Weinstein Company, which has only had limited success with films like Clerks 2 and The Reader.
In 2009 Disney announced that they would be downsizing Miramax by 70% closing the Los Angeles and New York offices. A number of interested partied threw their respective hats into the ring to buy Miramax, with Bob and Harvey being the most likely suitors.
The collapse in talks, which have been going on for a month and until recently were considered close to resolution, did not come over the 600 million dollar price tag for the studio, according to the people close to the deal. Instead, the problems involved difficulties regarding the structure of the Weinstein Company, which has struggled to find its way due to the shrinking market for independent films.