Miramax Films Has Died
The studio that helped rejuvenate John Travolta's career, made a household name out of Quentin Tarantino, and created stars out of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck is finally closing its door. The shuttering of Miramax has been coming since 2005, when founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein stepped down after an acrimonious 12-year relationship with Disney CEO Michael Eisner, who acquired Miramax in 1993.
What had been a haven for quirky, artistically-inspired independent films is now shedding its final 80 employees after cutting its yearly releases significantly. The once vibrant studio known for releasing such films as Sex, Lies and Videotapes, Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, The English Patient, Shakespeare In Love, The Aviator, The Reader — is now a memory.
Miramax was founded by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979, and was acquired by Disney in 1993 for close to $80 million. The Weinstein brothers split with Disney, but weren't allowed to keep the name (a combination of Bob and Harvey's parent's names, Max and Miriam) but they were allowed to take their subsidiary, Dimensions Films, with them.
The Weinsteins founded a new company, The Weinstein Company (TWC for you industry types) and continue to make films, though so far, not with the same consistency of greatness as their previous incarnation - with the exception of the strangely appealing, Inglourious Basterds.