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Weinstein Company Braintrust On How Tom Sherak’s Mentorship Launched Miramax

By | Wednesday January 29, 2014 @ 4:18pm PST
Mike Fleming

FWho knew that Tom Sherak touched this many people? Here is a note that was penned by Harvey Weinstein for Deadline, describing what the former Fox exec and Academy president meant to him, his brother Bob Weinstein, and COO David Glasser and distribution chief Erik Lomis. Weinstein was moved to write in reaction to Bill Mechanic’s words.

Tom Sherak: Remembering A True Hollywood Star
Tom Sherak: “It’s About Love”

“Tommy We Hardly Knew Ye:

When I was a boy I read a beautiful memoir called Johnny We Hardly Knew Ye about JFK which his long term buddy Kenneth O’Donnell wrote. This is the best way to describe my, my brother, Erik Lomis and David Glasser’s feelings about a man named Tom Sherak. The first time Bob and I met Tom was over 30 years ago – we were just two rock promoters born in New York City hating every minute of the Rock n Roll existence. Fancying ourselves as movie producers, we came up with the novel idea of booking two movies, one called White Rock The Olympic Experience and the other, The Genesis Concert Movie and coming up with a marketing handle called Sensasia, the movie experience. Who the hell were we kidding and how the hell were we going to get theaters to play these two movies we put together and decided we would start distributing with no distributing background whatsoever? So we tried it out in our backyard and lo and behold it worked but there was an entire country to play and at that time the general cinema ruled the waves and ocean and the man in charge of booking theatres in general cinema was a warmhearted ebullient soul named Tom Sherak. He must have looked at us with complete and utter bafflement- just two shaggy guys with afros. We looked like we got off the Grateful Dead road bus and there we were with our dream of conquering the US distribution system with two 45 minute movies. Theater by theater, state by state, city by city, Tom Sherak took these 2 knuckle heads and helped them form a company called Miramax. That’s how it started: rock n’ roll movies with Sherak renting us theaters, booking us theaters, and guiding us. We knew nothing except we had an instinct and a flair for promotion and the movies weren’t half bad. Through the course of our lives he would always be there whether he was mentoring or mediating and trust me, David and Erik would testify we needed a mediator or two, but more importantly a mentor. Read More »

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Stephen Bruno New Marketing Boss At Weinstein Co

By | Monday September 26, 2011 @ 1:11pm PDT

Stephen Bruno, who began his career at The Weinstein Co before moving to direct consumer marketing at HBO, has been tapped as president of marketing at The Weinstein Co. He will oversee the strategy for all theatrical titles and report to co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and chief operating officer David Glasser. At HBO, Bruno worked on campaigns for Curb Your Enthusiasm, Eastbound & Down, Game of Thrones and the upcoming Luck. During his first stint with Weinstein, he worked on Inglourious Basterds, A Single Man, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Reader. The rest of the TWC marketing team remains in place: EVP Marketing Operations & Sales Francois Martin, EVP Creative Advertising Jeff Elefterion and VP Marketing Bladimiar Norman.

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TOLDJA! Weinstein Company Announces VOD Label

Mike Fleming

The Weinstein Company has confirmed Deadline’s scoop about it forming a VOD venture and naming Tom Quinn and Jason Janego to run it. The deal will certainly focus attention on the emergence of VOD as a lifeline to movies that either don’t have the commercial premise or the starpower for a wide theatrical release. Here’s the announcement from TWC:

New York (September 6, 2011) – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that Tom Quinn and Jason Janego have joined forces with TWC Co-Chairmen Harvey and Bob Weinstein to create a new TWC label to bring new films and other specialty entertainment to audiences simultaneously across multiple digital and traditional platforms. Quinn and Janego will serve as Co-Presidents of the yet-to-be named label, which will be based in New York. The announcement was made by TWC COO David Glasser.

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Weinstein Co Hires MGM’s Erik Lomis As Prez Of Theatrical Distrib & Home Entertainment

Mike Fleming

UPDATE: The Weinstein Company has confirmed Deadline’s scoop on Erik Lomis. His hiring gives the company a strong distribution executive who was rusting at MGM. (Release is below)

EXCKUSIVE, 12:20 PM: The Weinstein Company is closing a deal with Erik Lomis to become its President of Theatrical Distribution and Home Entertainment. He’ll oversee releases generated through both the TWC and Dimension labels. Lomis has been in talks for several weeks, but the issue has been time remaining on his contract at MGM, where he has been President of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution, Home Entertainment & Acquisitions. MGM is in the process of remaking itself with an emphasis on production and not distribution, so it’s not surprising that Lomis would be looking to leave. He had just under a year left on his deal, but I’m told those hurdles have been cleared and his appointment is imminent.

Lomis takes the job at a time when TWC is about to release the Julian Schnabel-directed Miral and Dimension is releasing Spy Kids 4, as well as the Timur Bekmambetov-produced “found footage” thriller Apollo 18, the Sundance pic My Idiot Brother, Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut Coriolanus and the Miley Cyrus-starrer So Undercover, among others. It becomes the latest move in TWC’s restructure under Harvey and Bob Weinstein and David Glasser. That restructure has seen Donna Gigliotti become TWC production president, former Miramax production vet Meryl Poster returned to the Weinstein fold as President of Television, and former … Read More »

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Sundance: Weinstein Company And Ron Burkle Make Big Buy Of ‘My Idiot Brother’

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: The Weinstein Company has closed a deal for the Paul Rudd comedy My Idiot Brother that will amount to a minimum guarantee of $6 million-$7 million, and a $15 million P&A commitment for a wide theatrical release. That makes My Idiot Brother the biggest deal of the Sundance Festival so far, but there’s an intriguing component here. Ron Burkle, who backed Harvey and Bob Weinstein’s attempt to acquire Miramax Films and its library, will be a partner on the acquisition, the first of what is rumored to be the beginning of an ongoing relationship.

The deal comes after a marathon auction that began last night with TWC, Relativity Media and Fox Searchlight. The action on began right after the premiere screening finished. The two parties chasing it hardest were Relativity Media and The Weinstein Company. The discussions were still taking shape around 2 AM, and the feeling was the film had a good shot to reach $5 million. Reaction to the film was that it was more heartfelt than broad comedy, and some of the players looking for a can’t miss wide release  weren’t biting. Bidders broke at 6:30 AM, with TWC prevailing.  Harvey Weinstein, David Glasser and Pete Lawson reached terms with the UTA team and producers Anthony Bregman, Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf earlier today and the deal is being signed. It’s a bold play by the … Read More »

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Weinsteins Buy 25% Stake In Starz Media

Mike Fleming

Englewood, Colo. and New York, NY (January 4, 2011) – In a significant strategic partnership within the ever-changing home/digital entertainment market, Starz, LLC has agreed to sell The Weinstein Company (TWC) a 25% stake in Starz Media, LLC, a programming production, home entertainment and international TV distribution company which includes Anchor Bay Entertainment and other TV/home entertainment assets. Separately, Anchor Bay has entered into a multi-year domestic distribution agreement for new theatrical content from TWC and its Dimension Films label.

The agreements were announced today by Starz, LLC President and CEO Chris Albrecht and TWC Co-Chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Financial terms of the strategic partnership were not disclosed.

The home/digital entertainment deal, which does not include television rights but spans Blu-ray™, DVD and EST/VOD/PPV electronic/digital distribution, covers up to 20 TWC and Dimension titles per year including the seven-time Golden Globe-nominated Tom Hooper drama The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter; Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, starring Golden Globe nominees Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling; and John Wells’ feature directorial debut Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner and Chris Cooper. Other titles include the Kristin Scott Thomas drama Sarah’s Key, upcoming sequels in the successful Scream, Spy Kids, and Scary Movie franchises, and new installments in the Hellraiser, Halloween, and Children of the Corn film series.

“The distribution agreement leverages the scale of

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TOLDJA! Weinstein Co & Icon UK Team Up

Here’s the official release detailing what Nikki reported back on October 11:

London/New York (November 01, 2010) – The Icon UK Group, owned by Access Industries, and The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced a major new film finance/production fund. To be administered by Icon, the fund will focus on commercially viable films in the $5-20 million range and could potentially reach $100 million over its initial two-year period.

Under the terms of the deal, TWC will handle U.S. distribution for projects, Icon will handle UK distribution, with all other international territories split between TWC and Icon. Spearheading the fund will be Hugo Grumbar, President at Icon in the UK and David Glasser, TWC COO based in New York.

The two companies have a shared history and appreciation for a similar slate of films.  Both have recently distributed such titles as Nowhere Boy (2009), The Box (2009), A Single Man (2009), and The Road (2009).

“I am excited to collaborate with such quality partners, who share a similar vision of producing independent film,” said Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company.

Icon CEO Stewart Till said, “This is a great deal on two counts. Firstly, it fits our more aggressive acquisitions and production strategy, and secondly it’s a fantastic opportunity to work with a newly rejuvenated TWC.”

“As we witness the shuttering of independent film divisions at the studios, we see this collaboration of likeminded companies as a tremendous opportunity to embrace the numerous opportunities out there. Since our restructure, we are very proud of

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Brad Luff New Dimension Production Prez

EXCLUSIVE: I hear he starts on Monday at Dimension Films as President of Production after final details of his exit from Sony are negotiated. “Obviously we are on a mission to staff up key parts of the company,” The Weinstein Co’s David Glasser just told me. Since December 2008, Luff has been SVP of production at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, manage the development slate, including generating original material for potential theatrical release and identifying studio sequels for the DVD market. He oversaw development there on the upcoming Faster (co-financed with CBS Films), Soul Surfer, Quarantine 2, and Stomp The Yard 2. From 2005-2008, Luff was president of production for The Mayhem Project, a production and financing entity backed by two UK-based hedge funds. In 2003, Luff was named president of production at Morgan Creek Prods and before that had been EVP of production at Neal Moritz’s Sony-based Original Film shingle for six years.

At Dimension, Luff will oversee the completion of production and post production on both Spy Kids 4 and Scream 4 which are both shooting now. Then he will oversee the upcoming productions of American Werewolf in London, Hellraiser, Children of the Corn, Sin City 2, and the upcoming installment of Scary Movie.  Also a reboot of both Scanners and Short Circuit. Not to mention he will focus on new productions and acquisitions for the division.

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Weinstein Co Always Finds Another Sucker

missingharvmilk2.jpgEarlier tonight I received a call from The Weinstein Co’s David Glasser claiming that the cash-strapped indie film company will emerge from its restructuring next week “debt-free”. Do I believe this? About as much as I believe any of the phony baloney spin coming out of the Weinstein PR machine these days. (That Miramax was theirs, for instance?) For six months Deadline has been hearing from TWC how the company was looking to relieve itself of the burden of servicing its mountainous debt which led to massive layoffs, revolving door executives, and a movie release schedule in shambles. (That’s when we wrote: Weinstein Co Gets “New Lease On Life”? at the start of the Sundance Film Festival.)

weinsteinlogoTonight, journalists like myself are being told that TWC’s $400M worth of liquidity woes ($500M six months ago) has miraculously disappeared. “We’re absolved of all our debt,” Glasser claimed to me. Suffice it to say that Ambac Financial Group still won’t pull the plug on TWC, and Goldman Sachs now is holding a lien against 200 films, the vast majority of them home video crap left over from TWC’s Genius fiasco, and I could go on and on with details. But I’m sick of this company’s claims. (Harvey doesn’t even get on the phone to reporters anymore because he’s fearful of saying anything contrary to what he’s claimed to creditors.)

People do business with The Weinstein Co at their peril. I know from my reporting that almost everybody who trusts The Weinstein Co lives to regret it, … Read More »

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