Weintraub Entertainment Group

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Weintraub Entertainment Group
Private corporation
IndustryMotion picture
FateBankruptcy
FoundedJuly 1, 1986
FounderJerry Weintraub
DefunctSeptember 30, 1990 (1990-09-30)
Key people
Jerry Weintraub, Chair/CEO
Kenneth Kleinberg, president/COO[1]
Andrew Susskind, TV president[2]
Productsfilms
Servicesdistribution
OwnerThe Coca-Cola Company
US Tobacco Company[3]
Columbia Pictures (15%; 1987–1989)
Warner Bros. (15%; 1989–1990)[4]

Weintraub Entertainment Group (WEG) was a film production company considered to be a mini-major studio founded by Jerry Weintraub.[1]

History[edit]

Weintraub Entertainment Group was formed in July 1, 1986 by Jerry Weintraub.[3] In February 1987, WEG received $461 million in financing from Columbia Pictures, Cineplex Odeon and others in the form of securities, bank loans and advances.[1] The Coca-Cola Company and US Tobacco Company were principal investors.[3] WEG also arranged a $145-million, 7-year credit line with the Bank of America. WEG also signed a 20-year distribution deal with Columbia and planned to release seven or eight movies per year.[1]

In March 1987, WEG signed its first production and distribution deal, a three-year agreement with Robert Stigwood's RSO Films for multiple films budgeted in the $12-million to $15-million range.[5] With Stigwood's partnership, WEG was to finance a film version of Evita with Oliver Stone as writer/director and Meryl Streep as Eva Perón. However, the studio dropped the project.[6]

WEG purchased from The Cannon Group in May 1987 its 2,000-title British film library,[7] the Thorn-EMI Screen Entertainment Library, for $85 million with $50 million from a loan.[1] On July 20, Harry Usher joined the Group as President of the Weintraub International Enterprises division and as a senior vice president.[8]

In January 1988, Barney Rosenzweig was hired as chairman of the television unit, corporate vice president and a member of the executive committee.[9] In July, the Bank of America terminated its credit line with Weintraub after difficulties in syndicating parts of the loan to other banks due to the Thorn-EMI loan.[1] The Group's first release was The Big Blue in August; it grossed $1.6 million the opening weekend.[10]

In January 1989, Usher left his position as President of the Weintraub International Enterprises.[11] The Bank of America and WEG established a new credit line for two years and $95 million with Credit Lyonnais participating.[1]

In 1989, as a result of Sony/Columbia hiring Peter Guber and Jon Peters away from Warner Bros., Sony/Columbia traded its 15% share in WEG.[4]

In September 1990, WEG filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Later that month, Jerry Weintraub left the company and forged a deal with Warner Bros., while Columbia still remained indebted to releasing WEG films.[12]

Film Asset Holding Co., a company formed by WEG's two primary bank creditors, sued Weintraub over his structuring of a sale of the Peter Pan story to Sony Pictures Entertainment in the fall of 1990. Weintraub and Film Assets settled in January 1992.[13]

In August 1998, a jury verdict for $7 million was lost by Bear Stearns Cos. to investors who had been misled by the brokerage's $83 million bond issue prospectus for the now-bankrupt Weintraub Entertainment Group.[14]

Production/release library[edit]

Since Sony Pictures Entertainment owns its rights to their films, Paramount Television handles TV and digital rights to the films with Trifecta Entertainment & Media.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Cieply, Michael (January 11, 1989). "Weintraub's Worries : Box-Office Flops Add to Woes of Flashy 'Mini-Major'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  2. ^ "People: Los Angeles County". Los Angeles Times. March 22, 1987. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "Cannon sells its Film Library". New Straits Times. Reuter. April 5, 1987. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b Dick, Bernard F. (1992). Columbia Pictures: Portrait of a Studio. University Press of Kentucky. p. 56.
  5. ^ "Weintraub Entertainment and RSO reached a pact". Los Angeles Times. March 27, 1987. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  6. ^ Greeberg, James (19 November 1989). "Is It Time Now to Cry for 'Evita'?". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Knoedelseder, Jr., William K. (August 7, 1987). "Cannon Group Loses $9.9 Million in Quarter". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Usher Named Division Head at Weintraub". Los Angeles Times. July 12, 1987. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  9. ^ Delugach, Al (February 1, 1988). "Weintraub Taps Rosenzweig as TV Unit Chief". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  10. ^ Voland, John (August 23, 1988). "WEEKEND BOX OFFICE : Freddy Shreds the Movie Competition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Harry Usher Joins Executive Search Firm". Los Angeles Times. ASSOCIATED PRESS. January 7, 1989. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  12. ^ Cieply, Michael (September 14, 1990). "Weintraub Is Expected to File Chapter 11 : Entertainment: The film firm seeks to cut off bondholders' action". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  13. ^ Citron, Alan (January 18, 1992). "Creditors Agree With Weintraub to Settle Lawsuit : * Film: Two banks had accused the producer of taking an unwarranted $748,000 in developing 'Hook". latimes.com. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Bear Stearns Misled Its Investors, Jury Finds". Los Angeles Times. Bloomberg News. August 25, 1998. Retrieved 2 July 2012.

External links[edit]