Disney have closed down Miramax studios. Founded back in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein (remember them?), Miramax has had a long history of awards success and arthouse pictures. Under its rather aggressive bosses, the studio brought talent like Tarantino to the world, championing Reservoir Dogs alongside films such as The English Patient, The Piano and Clerks.
But the trouble behind the scenes soon became widely known when Disney bought out the company in 1993, for $70 million. The Weinstein Brothers stayed on in control under Mickey's reign, but despite Disney's added funding they soon ran it into the ground again. Successes like Chicago, The Talented Mr Ripley and Shakespeare In Love did nothing to allay the financial difficulties Miramax was in.
And so The Weinsteins jumped ship, setting up The Weinstein Company in 2005 and handing over to Daniel Battsek. With both studios then undergoing further money problems, the end was unfortunately in sight.
Kevin Smith told movie blog The Wrap: "Miramax wasn't just a bad-boy clubhouse, it was a 20th century Olympus: throw a can of Diet Coke and you hit a modern-day deity. And for one brief, shining moment, it was an age of magic and wonders. I'm crushed to see it pass into history, because I owe everything I have to Miramax. Without them, I'd still be a New Jersey convenience store register jockey. In practice, not just in my head."
Harvey Weinstein added: "I'm feeling very nostalgic right now. I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob's watch will live on as well as the fantastic films made under the direction of Daniel Battsek. Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organization and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry."
For the record, those "brilliant people" amount to 80 in total, all of whom will lose their jobs in New York and LA. As for the movies currently under the studio's wing? Their future's uncertain - Disney say that they will continue working on smaller projects, but whether any of them ever get a substantial release is still to be seen. A sad day, then, for Miramax. Long live the House of Mouse.
- daniel battsek
- english patient
- reservoir dogs