The Weinstein Company

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The Weinstein Company, LLC
Type Private
Industry Film
Founded March 10, 2005
Founder(s) Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Headquarters New York City, United States
Products Motion pictures
Employees 200[1]
Divisions Dimension Films
Dimension Extreme
Ovation TV (owned with Hubbard Media Group)
Dragon Dynasty (jointly owned by Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment)
Third Rail Releasing
TWC-Dimension
Radius-TWC
Kaleidoscope-TWC
The Miriam Collection
Subsidiaries Starz Distribution (25%) (75% owned by Starz Inc.)
Website www.weinsteinco.com

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's the world's second largest mini-major film studio in North America.

History[edit]

Their first releases in 2005 included the dramatic thriller Derailed (starring Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel and Clive Owen), the offbeat comedy-drama Transamerica (starring Felicity Huffman) the computer-animated family film Hoodwinked, the World War II–era comedy-drama Mrs Henderson Presents (starring Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins), and the caper comedy The Matador (starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear).

In February 2006, TWC announced a distribution pact with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[2] 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.[3] In late August 2006, it was announced that TWC and co-investors Hubbard Media Group purchased Ovation TV, an arts-focused cable channel.[4] 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.[5] 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. There is also Escape From Planet Earth and The Blue Elephant.

The company is the co-producer, along with Miramax, of the Lifetime reality series Project Runway, which for its first five seasons aired on Bravo.

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.[6][7]

On February 8, 2008, TWC launched a distributor called Third Rail Releasing that released films aimed mainly at the home video market.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] 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."[11][12] In June 2009, the Weinstein Company announced the hiring of a financial adviser to restructure the finances of the company.[13] Since July, 2009, many layoffs occurred at TWC, and the release dates of some films were pushed back.[14][15] 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.[16]

In January 2010, TWC announced more layoffs at the company after the box office failure of Nine.[17] On February 21, 2010, The Weinstein Company made a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releasing the DVDs through Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group.[18] Bob and Harvey Weinstein attempted to buy back Miramax from Disney in 2010, but the attempt was unsuccessful.[19]

An ownership interest in TWC's library, consisting of 200 titles, will be sold off to Goldman Sachs and Assured Guaranty. The deal, if successful, will free the Weinsteins from debt.[20]

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.[21] 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%.[22] 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.[23] In March 2011, the company formed a video game division named TWC Games.[24] TWC Games formed a strategic consultancy with Beefy Media, a video game production company, to foster relationships with publishers and create high-quality games.[24]

On February 26, 2012, after TWC's purchase of the rights to release Michel Hazanavicius' The Artist in the United States, which won the prestigious Best Actor Award at the Cannes Film Festival for Jean Dujardin, The Artist won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This is the second consecutive Oscar for Best Picture awarded to the Weinstein Company. The last independent mini-major to win back-to-back Oscars for Best Picture was Orion Pictures for their films Dances with Wolves in 1990 and The Silence of the Lambs in 1991.

TWC distributes films on multiple formats (including video-on-demand) through its Radius-TWC brand.[25] In September 2013, Bob and Harvey Weinstein launched the TWC-Dimension label to distribute projects that they both share interest in.[26]

On November 4, 2013, TWC announced they have picked up U.S. distribution rights to the British drama series Peaky Blinders from Endemol.[27]

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.[28]

In May 2014, the company agreed to a five year multi-picture financing deal with Worldview Entertainment.[29]

Weinstein books[edit]

Upon leaving Disney, the Weinsteins reached an agreement to bring over Rob Weisbach, the CEO of their publishing imprint, Miramax Books, to the Weinstein Company. Weisbach would continue to manage all of Miramax Books' existing titles until they were published but would acquire all new titles for Weinstein, while Disney would acquire new titles under their Hyperion imprint.[30] Judy Hottensen is currently acting president of Weinstein Books.[31]

Weinstein Books published its first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, on September 4, 2007.[32]

On October 19, 2009, TWC announced a joint venture with Perseus Book Group, whereby Perseus would be responsible for marketing, editing, publishing and distribution of Weinstein Books releases.[33]

2000s[edit]