Deadline this morning posted news of the deal for Miramax and The Weinstein Company to partner on sequels. Here are some more details.
The deal ended bad blood between the parties, stemming from Harvey and Bob Weinstein failing to reclaim the Miramax name and library of 700 films, but holding a position on sequels to the films they made at Miramax. I’m told that former WMA chief Jim Wiatt was helpful in bridging a relationship between newly minted Miramax CEO Mike Lang and the Weinstein brothers, and that led to the working arrangement on sequels and does away with potential litigation.
Miramax is starting out as a library company, so in all likelihood, the Weinsteins will take the active role on the sequels. Miramax is entitled to become a 50/50 production partner, but can just as easily take a passive role and collect 5% of first dollar gross. That’s the same amount Miramax is getting for the sequels that are already in the can: Scream 4, Spy Kids 4 and Scary Movie 5. TWC will produce and distribute the films.
Miramax isn’t done making deals, though. It inherited hundreds of development projects and will be looking for partners on those projects. It also has three finished films–the John Madden-directed The Debt, the Guillermo del Toro-produced Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and the Massy Tadjedin-directed Last Night with Keira Knightley and Sam … Read More »
The films that have played the Toronto International Film Festival either came in with a distributor, or hoped to leave with one. The festival’s closing night film, Last Night, is the exception. The drama, written and directed by Massy Tadjedin, arrived as a Disney film, but might very well leave the festival with someone else. How appropriate for a drama about infidelity! The picture was dealt to Miramax by producer Nick Wechsler and Gaumont two weeks after production began. After the deal closed, Daniel Battsek’s specialty shingle imploded. The Mouse has spared the film from being part of the assets in the never-ending sale of the Miramax library. (It did the same for The Switch, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, and the John Madden-directed The Debt, which also stars Worthington.) While The Debt made its debut at Toronto with distribution set, family-friendly Disney has been non-committal about releasing Last Night because of its infidelity theme. I’m told the picture has been quietly shopped during the festival by CAA, and there are three offers on the table. It will be up to Disney whether the studio wants to let it go to a specialty distributor more excited about releasing an edgy drama with a strong cast. Read More »
Miramax Deal “95%” Done
Colony Capital Now Leading Ron Tutor’s Miramax Negotiations
Back on July 8th I was the first to tell you that construction magnate Ron Tutor and Tom Barrack’s Santa Monica-based Colony Capital led by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula had joined together to negotiate the acquisition of Miramax from Disney. And so that deal finally gets done tonight after so many frustrating and annoying stops and starts, and bidders and runners-up. (Announcement below.) Still, this was relativity speedy considering that Colony Capital only a month ago entered the deal as a big equity provider matching Tutor’s equity of several hundred million dollars. So I have to ask: Are bidding war losers Harvey and Bob Weinstein crying into their beer tonight?
All in all, $660 million is a very good price for the company because film library values have taken a hit as DVD/video has flattened. True, Disney once placed a sky-high $1.2 billion pricetag on the Miramax library. The studio hoped to get around $800 million, then $700 million, and this number comes awfully close to that. The final figure exceeds the $625M-$650M which the Weinstein brothers/Ron Burkle/Fortress-Colbeck partnership seemed ready to pay until talks broke down. Due diligence showed that Miramax is sitting on a lot of cash, as much as $300M in receivables. Also, I’ve learned that Disney stands to make even more because … Read More »