The Weinstein Company (TWC) is an American mini-major film studio founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 2005 after the brothers left the then-Disney-owned Miramax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979. They retained ownership of the Dimension Films label of Miramax. It is one of the largest mini-major film studios in North America.
In February 2006, TWC announced a distribution pact with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM distributed the product domestically in theatres, while TWC will retain long-term ownership of their product. On July 13, 2006, the Weinsteins and Robert L. Johnson announced the creation of a joint venture studio titled Our Stories Films, which will distribute African-American-oriented films. In late August 2006, it was announced that TWC and co-investors Hubbard Media Group purchased Ovation TV, an arts-focused cable channel. In November 2006, TWC announced a three-year deal with Blockbuster Video to give the video renting company exclusive rights for rentals starting on January 1, 2007. However, under the First Sale Doctrine of United States copyright law, other rental companies are able to rent copies of the company's movies purchased at retail.
On May 23, 2007, the Weinstein Company announced the launch of three new direct-to-video labels: The Miriam Collection, Kaleidoscope TWC, and Dimension Extreme.
On February 8, 2008, TWC launched a distributor called Third Rail Releasing that released films aimed mainly at the home video market. On September 25, 2008, TWC ended its three-year distribution pact with MGM three months before the December 31 end date. This happened in part because TWC had struck a television output deal with Showtime, though not through MGM's output deal with them. During the span of their pact, TWC paid for marketing and prints, while MGM received a distribution fee for booking theatres.
In 2009, TWC might have lost the rights to the movie Sin City 2. The first film cost only 40 million dollars to make and brought in almost 159 million in box office alone. Weinstein Company lawyer Bert Fields quickly denied this report saying "TWC's rights to produce sequels to Sin City remain intact as they always have been. Any suggestion to the contrary is complete hogwash." In June 2009, the Weinstein Company announced the hiring of a financial adviser to restructure the finances of the company. Since July, 2009, many layoffs occurred at TWC, and the release dates of some films were pushed back. On September 14, 2009, TWC terminated its stake in Genius Products, which served as TWC's home video distributor from 2006 to 2009. Genius however, had announced to exit the home video distribution business and the DVD rights that were distributed by Genius were sold to Vivendi Entertainment. TWC also struck a deal with Vivendi. The same year, it won a Peabody Award for The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.
An ownership interest in TWC's library at that point, consisting of 200 titles, was sold off to Goldman Sachs and Assured Guaranty in 2010. The sale freed TWC from bankruptcy. Goldman Sachs' stake in the library was purchased by AMC Networks in 2015. According to Deadline Hollywood: "The library will revert to the Weinstein Company itself when the remaining debt has been paid off by the films in question."
On January 4, 2011, the Weinstein Company has agreed to acquire a 25% stake in Starz Media. Because of this, Starz Media subsidiary Anchor Bay Entertainment became the home video distributor for all TWC films. On February 3, 2011, the Weinsteins extracted a $75 million consolation prize from their former parent company, Disney, thus improving their filmmaking career. As a result, Disney handed over its 50% stake in Project Runaway, and reduced its share in four jointly owned films, including Scary Movie and Spy Kids, from 50% to 5%. On February 27, 2011, TWC's distributed film The King's Speech brought to the company their first Academy Award for Best Picture at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, after their last Best Picture Oscar winner Chicago won in 2002 when Bob and Harvey Weinstein were at Miramax, controlled by then corporate owner Disney, and their previous Best Picture nominees for TWC were 2008's The Reader and 2009's Inglourious Basterds, the latter film a co-production with Universal Pictures and A Band Apart. In March 2011, the company formed a video game division named TWC Games. TWC Games formed a strategic consultancy with Beefy Media, a video game production company, to foster relationships with publishers and create high-quality games.
TWC distributes films on multiple formats (including video-on-demand) through its Radius-TWC brand. In September 2013, Bob and Harvey Weinstein launched the TWC-Dimension label to distribute projects that they both share interest in.
On November 4, 2013, TWC announced they have picked up U.S. distribution rights to the British drama series Peaky Blinders from Endemol.
In December 2013, Miramax and TWC entered a 20-year joint-venture agreement to develop and produce films, TV series, and stage shows. The deal will allow the Weinsteins to exploit the 700-film Miramax library. Sequels to Rounders and Shakespeare in Love are among the films being developed under this new deal, and series based on Good Will Hunting and Flirting with Disaster are being planned as well. Other developments include a Stephen Colbert-written film titled The Alibi, and an adaptation of Liz Jensen's novel The Ninth Life of Louis Drax, that late filmmakers Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack intended to make. Miramax will put up the financing and handle international sales while the Weinstein Company will develop the projects and distribute the titles domestically.
Originally launched as Miramax Books by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 2001, the imprint was reborn in 2009 as Weinstein Books, a joint publishing venture between The Weinstein Company and The Perseus Book Group.
Since 2012 Weinstein Books has been under the creative management of Publishing Director Georgina Levitt and Editorial Director Amanda Murray. Publicity Director Kathleen Schmidt joined Weinstein Books in 2013.
The imprint publishes a range of general interest fiction, both literary and commercial, along with media-driven non-fiction and YA titles.
Acquired North American and International distribution rights. The North American rights were eventually purchased back by the film's director. However, the company still released the film internationally.