Weinstein Company

By Matt Sarshik
The Weinstein Company Logo

The Weinstein Company Logo [1]

History 

Created in 2005, The Weinstein Company is a multimedia production and distribution company founded by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein.  The brothers created the company following their departure from Miramax Films, a company they founded in 1979. The Weinstein Company encompasses genre-film studio Dimension Films.  The Weinstein Company left the 2012 Academy Awards with 8 awards, the most in the studio’s history, including Best Picture for The Artist. [1]

  Key Executives

Harvey Weinstein Courtesy of Biography.com

Harvey Weinstein
Courtesy of Biography.com [2]

Harvey Weinstein is co-chairman of The Weinstein Company and founded Miramax Films in 1979 with his brother, Bob, where they released many critically acclaimed films, receiving 16 Best Picture nominations over 16 years. [3]

Bob Weinstein Courtesy of the NY Daily News

Bob Weinstein
Courtesy of the NY Daily News [4]

Bob Weinstein is co-chairman of the The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films, a company he established in 1993, which primarily produces science fiction, family, and horror films including the Scream and Scary Movie franchises. [5]

Financials 

Through November of 2013, The Weinstein Company ranks eighth among studios with a 5.1% market share.  The studio has released 13 films in 2013 and brought in a total gross of approximate $468 million.  In 2012, The Weinstein company also placed eighth among the studios, however they only held a 2.4% market share. [6]

Recent News  

At the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, The Weinstein Company picked up several features.  The list was highlighted by “Can A Song Save Your Life?” starring Keira Knightley for $7 million and they secured the U.S. rights to “The Railway Man” for a reported $2 million starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman.  The studio also used the festival to carry seven of their upcoming releases including “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “August: Osage County”.  [7] [8] [9]

In August, The Weinstein Company agreed to an exclusive streaming deal with Netflix.  The deal, set to begin in 2016, will make Netflix the sole U.S. home for all films from The Weinstein Company and Dimension Films during the premium pay-TV window.  This deal builds on the already existing deal between the companies that allowed Netflix to stream select films, mostly including foreign films and documentaries.  This new deal will end The Weinstein Company’s 2008 seven-year pay TV deal with Showtime. [10]

Recent Film Releases

Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

Courtesy of Indiewire [11]

Lee Daniels’ The Butler“, released on August 16, is an independent historical drama staring Forest Whitaker as a White House butler who serves over eight presidencies.  The film also features Oprah Winfrey as the butler’s wife. [12]

On its opening weekend, the film topped the box office with a weekend gross of over $24 million.  It remained atop the weekend box office results for the next two weekends.  Through 14 weeks, the film has a domestic gross of over $115 million on just a $30 million budget.  The film is currently the studio’s top grossing film of 2013 and fifth all-time. [13]

Originally titled The Butler, the film included director, Lee Daniels‘ name in the title after a failed legal battle with Warner Bros, which claimed the title had been used for a 1916 short.  While many thought the name battle may damage the film’s prospects, Harvey Weinstein claims, “We asked people opening weekend what made them see the movie, 40 percent of the audience said the controversy”. [14] [9]

The film is already considered an awards contender, specifically for the performances from Whitaker and Winfrey.

Courtesy of IMP Awards

Courtesy of IMP Awards [15]

“Fruitvale Station”, released on July 12, is the believed true story of the moments leading up to and following the tragic death Oscar Grant III at a subway stop on New Year’s Day.  The film stars best actor contender Michael B. Jordan.  The film was a 2013 Sundance Film Festival winner. [16]

The film was released in seven theaters, the same weekend the Trayvon Martin verdict was read, grossing a $53,898 average per theater.  The film was only placed in over 1,000 theaters during its third and fourth weeks.  As of October 31st, the film has a domestic total of just over $16 million. [17]

The Weinstein Company combined marketing for this film with a message to end social injustice in the name of Oscar Grant III.  On film advertisements on both the studio’s website and actual business cards, audiences were encouraged to use social media to tell their stories of social injustice. [18]

Courtesy of IMP Awards

Courtesy of IMP Awards [19] 

On September 6, The Weinstein Company released “Salinger”, the story of reclusive author J.D. Salinger, staring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Edward Norton[20]

The film played in four theaters over its first two weeks, then reached its high of 138 theaters in its third week.  The film was not highly received at the Telluride Film Festival, resulting in Harvey Weinstein’s decision to recut the film.  As a result, 13 minutes of footage was removed, with eight new minutes added.  Weinstein’s updated version was used in the film’s wide release.  The film has a worldwide gross of over $650,675.  [21] [22]

Upcoming Releases

Courtesy of Filmfixx.com

Courtesy of Dipson Theaters [23]

On November 22, The Weinstein Company is slated to release “Philomena” a film based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, stars Judi Dench as a mother in search of her son.  The Motion Picture Association of America originally gave the film an R rating, however they changed their ruling to a PG-13 rating after resistance from the studio. [24]  

Courtesy of IMP Awards

Courtesy of IMP Awards [25]

On November 29, the studio is set to release “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”, starring Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in his story from childhood to his inauguration as president of South Africa. [26]  

The Weinstein Company announced that a special screening of the film will take place at The Kennedy Center on November 20 with former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and Colin Powell in attendance.  This screening is part of an eight-city tour presented by The Weinstein Company and Coca-Cola.  [27]

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter [28]

On Christmas Day, The Weinstein Company is scheduled to release the highly anticipated “August: Osage County”.  The John Wells’ film surrounds a family of women who return to their Oklahoma home following a family crisis.  The film has generated a lot of buzz due to its star studded cast, highlighted by Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep[28] 

The film received a variety of reviews when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.  The film’s movie poster has received a lot of attention for being strategic as it shows many of the film’s stars.   With so many stars, the studio aims to attract the fan bases of these high profile actors.  The film expects to compete in the musical or comedy categories at the Golden Globes. [28] 

Sources

Sources Accessed November 20, 2013

[1] About The Weinstein Company 

[2] Biography.com – Harvey Weinstein

[3] About Harvey Weinstein 

[4] NY Daily News – Bob Weinstein Photo 

[5] About Bob Weinstein 

[6] Box Office Mojo – Studio Market Share 

[7] Weinstein Co Acquires Rights at TIFF

[8] Weinstein Co Deal for “The Railway Man”

[9] The Daily Beast – Harvey Weinstein Interview 

[10] The Hollywood Reporter – Weinstein Co. Deal with Netflix

[11] Indiewire – Lee Daniels’ The Butler Movie Poster 

[12] Hollywood Reporter – Box Office Milestone

[13] Box Office Mojo Lee Daniels’ The Butler 

[14] USA Today – The Butler Box Office Appeal 

[15] Fruitvale Station Movie Poster 

[16] Box Office Mojo Fruitvale Station

[17] Deadline – Fruitvale Station Box Office 

[18] The Mother Jones – Marketing for Fruitvale Station [

[19] Salinger Movie Poster 

[20] IMDb – Salinger 

[21] Box Office Mojo Salinger 

[22] The Atlantic Wire – Salinger Recut

[23] Philomena Movie Poster 

[24] Entertainment Weekly – Philomena Rating Appeal 

[25] Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Movie Poster 

[26] IMDb – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 

[27] Deadline – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Special Screening.  

[28] The Hollywood Reporter – August: Osage County

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