Richard Nanula, chairman of Miramax and a principal at Colony Capital, said, “We are very proud of what Miramax has accomplished in such a short period of time. Mike has built a team of dedicated professionals, and they’ve worked together to create tremendous value. Miramax has established partnerships with leading distributors and with promising emerging platforms, with many more to come. The value of the Miramax film library and its iconic underlying brand is clear and the future is bright. We thank Mike for all of his hard work and we wish him well as he looks at future endeavors.”
Mr. Lang said: “I’ve enjoyed my time at Miramax. The company has a great team, and I remain highly supportive of Miramax and its opportunities ahead. I wish the team continued success.”
Steve Schoch, Miramax CFO, will serve as interim CEO until a new, permanent CEO is named.
EXCLUSIVE: It escaped almost everybody’s notice that Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack and his buddy and business associate Rob Lowe attended the November 14th premiere of Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. There appeared no reason for the pair to be there: they had no stake in the film, and they are not teenage girls. They did pose on the Red Carpet for a photo with Summit co-chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger (see right). And they did have a very good reason to be there, Deadline has learned. Because Santa Monica-based Colony Capital is exploring a deal in which Barrack would take a large equity stake in Summit Entertainment.
Until now, the only potential marriage partner poised for Summit has been Lionsgate, with the two companies engaged in a long and public flirtation to merge. We are told that Colony Capital is not proposing a merger. Instead, Summit would be a friendly takeover target, with the braintrust continuing to run the show, and Summit investors cashing out. There are two ways to proceed being mulled by Colony Capital right now. Barrack is a key owner of Miramax, and in one scenario, Barrack would meld the assets of Summit with a Miramax library. The other scenario has Colony Capital setting up a different company to take a large equity stake in Summit and leave it as a freestanding mini-studio. Barrack and Lowe (yes, Lowe is very much part of this and his …
UPDATE: Miramax’s Mike Lang and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos Talk Shop; Netflix Adds ‘Lilyhammer’ To TV Lineup
MIPCOM UPDATE: The video of Miramax CEO Mike Lang’s keynote at the Media Mastermind kickoff today is below, including his chat with Neflix’s Ted Sarandos. The two companies have recently partnered up on the digital side, and the studio is in town to drum up worldwide sales for its content in both film and TV.
PREVIOUS: Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix, announced in Cannes this afternoon that Netflix is adding Norwegian-produced TV show Lilyhammer to its original programming lineup. Stevie Van Zandt — who so memorably played mob consigliore Silvio Dante in The Sopranos — plays a Mafioso who testified against his former boss in New York and winds up relocated to the Norwegian countryside as part of the Witness Protection Program. Lilyhammer will premiere on Netflix in early 2012, with Netflix acquiring the 8 episodes from the show’s first season as well as the upcoming 8-episode second season. Sarandos, who was being interviewed by Miramax CEO Mike Lang, said that 60% of viewing on Netflix’s newly separated streaming business is for TV episodes, with Mad Men and Breaking Bad being most popular. Deadline understands that Netflix, which is on the hunt for original programming, has also had talks about reviving Arrested Development with 20th Century Fox TV. Netflix surprised Hollywood in March by outbidding major TV networks for the rights to the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards.
Lang, meanwhile, said that Miramax is talking to potential partners around the world about the distributor having its own cable network showing the 700 movies in its archives. Miramax signed a long-term deal for its content with Netflix in May, and is partnering with Facebook to launch Miramax Experience, an app that will allow users worldwide to watch its movies. Lang was keen to talk up how Miramax is reinventing itself as an anytime, anywhere distributor. “In a way I’d like to believe our company is a bit more Silicon Valley than Hollywood in that respect,” he said.
Thousands of TV executives from around the world are en route to Cannes for the annual MIPCOM market, which starts on Monday. The great majority of them, who are flying into the nearby Nice airport, were greeted by a group of Pan Am stewardesses — a promotion for the new ABC/Sony TV series, which will be among the offerings at the confab. (Though most of the sales for the 1960s soap were made after the international screenings in May.) Probably because there is no airport in Cannes, Pan Am stewardesses were stationed at both terminals of the Nice airport, greeting travelers on their way to the annual confab, according to an attendee who snapped a picture. Among the highlights at this year’s MIPCOM: keynote speeches by Disney-ABC’s Anne Sweeney, Fox’s Kevin Reilly, Miramax’s Mike Lang and Viacom International’s Robert Bakish as well as a press conferences with Paul Verhoeven and Ashley Judd.
Miramax announced today that it is growing its worldwide sales organization by opening its first international office in London. As part of the initiative, former MGM Worldwide Television Group executive Joe Patrick has been promoted to run worldwide sales, and former Power Television CEO and Sony TV exec Danny Goldman has been hired as SVP and Head of Sales, Europe, reporting to Patrick and to be based in London. Patrick will work closely with SVP Global Digital Beth Minehart and continue to report to Miramax CEO Mike Lang. The new London office, in Covent Garden, is expected to be up and running this month. “Opening the London office as our European hub is an important step in our company’s evolution, and we are thrilled to have a presence on the ground,” Lang said in announcing the moves.
Miramax Films, which made a deal with Netflix for its library titles in May, announced that its films will now be available in Latin America through the streaming service. We know that Netflix is also bracing for a UK launch, after Lionsgate UK made a streaming deal for its library titles to be shown there through Netflix. That deal was brokered last month.
SANTA MONICA, CA – September 6, 2011 – Miramax announced today that hundreds of its film titles will become available digitally in international markets for the first time under a multi-year agreement with Netflix. The announcement was made by Miramax CEO Mike Lang.
Beginning this month, Netflix members in Latin American territories including Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina will be able to instantly watch more than 140 Miramax movies, with dozens of titles being added on a rotating basis. The movies can be watched on multiple platforms, including TV, tablet, PC and mobile phones. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
In the first of what will be multiple co-productions between The Weinstein Company and Miramax on sequels of films that the Weinsteins produced at their old haunt, Dimension Films and Miramax are teaming on the production of The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes. The film is based on a script by Casey La Scala and Daniel Farrands, who will direct a film that will shoot this summer for release Jan. 27, 2012. The deal was announced today by TWC co-chairman Bob Weinstein and Miramax CEO Mike Lang.
CANNES: Miramax Plots Content Play Through Acquisitions And Inherited Scripts By The Likes Of Anthony Minghella And Stephen Colbert
Miramax Films chief Mike Lang came into Cannes determined to dispel the notion that his backers handed $660 million over to Disney simply to manage a film library. Lang met me at the Majestic Friday alongside Rob Lowe, the strategic advisor and an investor in the Miramax deal, one of several he and Colony Capital’s Tom Barrack are planning. Lowe has taken an active hand in poring over a trove of screenplays left behind by Harvey and Bob Weinstein when they exited Disney to form The Weinstein Company. Lowe and Lang feel that the best of those scripts—50-75 of 650 are make-able. Fresh productions, coupled with a plan to soon hire an executive to spearhead film acquisitions and development, positions Miramax to make a content play that Lang and Lowe said will replenish the library and keep it viable.
Describing the process of poring over projects that Disney didn’t seem to care about after the Weinsteins left, Lowe said it was “a lot like that final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the warehouse with all those crates stacked up. Boxes and boxes of scripts and material, none of it catalogued. We’d get five from the bottom of a box, and find a script by Anthony Minghella that he and Sydney Pollack were working on before they died. It’s called The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, it’s a great script, and if it was good enough for Minghella and …
As expected, former News Corp exec Mike Lang was named CEO of the new Miramax Films now owned by construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital (led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula), and Qatar Holding. Colony Capital’s Nanula will be the key person picking a CEO and CFO from the usual roster of experienced movie executives. Barrack has said frequently that Miramax didn’t want to end up hiring someone who’ll use distribution as an “excuse” to go into production. “Because that would be disastrous.”