Weinstein Company

By Roxy Silver
[1] The Weinstein Company Logo

[1] The Weinstein Company Logo

HISTORY

Brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein founded Miramax Films in 1979 and sold it to Disney in 1993. In 2005, they launched The Weinstein Company, TWC, a multimedia and distribution company that encompasses Dimension Films, a genre-label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein [2]. TWC and Dimension Films have released mainstream genre and specialty films [3]. Recently the company has made a huge push in its television division.

KEY EXECUTIVES

Harvey

[4] Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman TWC

[5] Bob Weinstein, Co-Chairman TWC & Dimension Films

[5] Bob Weinstein, Co-Chairman TWC & Dimension Films

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIALS

TWC is privately held. Box office wise, currently TWC is ranked 9th with 2.5% of the market share, grossing $69.1 million from its 8 films [6]. This marks a decrease from the prior year in which TWC ranked 8th with 4.5% market share, grossing $491.7 million while releasing 21 films [7].

IN THEATERS

[7]

[8] Lee Daniels’ The Butler captures the story of a White House butler who served seven presidents through dramatic and changing times in American history.

“Lee Daniels’ The Butler”

The drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey “was expected to do well, but we didn’t expect to do this well,” shared Erik Lomis, President of Distribution for TWC. “The Butler” is the company’s first No. 1 debut since 2009 [9] with an opening weekend of $24.6 million on August 16, 2013 [10]. The film has accumulated grosses of $116.6 million domestically and grossed $146.5 million internationally [11].

 

 

 

 

 

[12]

[12] Vampire Academy is based on a best selling series about two “mortal vampires” who attend a boarding school and have to protect each other from the terrible forces.

“Vampire Academy”

The highly anticipated fantasy film was a flop for TWC. In attempt to imitate the success of box office hits like “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games,” this young-adult adaption didn’t compliment the best-selling book series as the box office sales attest: It premiered in theaters on February 7, 2014, reeling in $3.9 million during its opening weekend [13]. The film has accumulated grosses of $7.79 million domestically and $7.6 million foreign, totaling $15.3 million worldwide [14].

 

 

 

 

 AWARDS SEASON

TWC had an extremely successful year leading up to The Academy Awards, but fell short with only 11 nominations compared to the 17 from the year before [15]. Regardless, the three films nominated received wide recognition.

[21]

[16] 20 Feet From Stardom

“20 Feet From Stardom”

Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names”- “20 Feet From Stardom” is a documentary that told the story of Darlene Love who backed up idols, Stevie WonderFrank SinatraLuther Vandross and Elvis Presley. The film shared her story of struggle of being feet away from the spotlight, but never making it [17]. This film was TWC’s only Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature [18].

 

 

 

[24]

[19] Philomena

“Philomena” 

Philomena captures the story of a mother searching for her son but instead finding his gay lover. The drama was nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Score, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay, but didn’t win any awards at the Oscars [20]. With an opening weekend of $128,435, to date the film combines $37.5 million domestic with $62.4 million foreign, netting TWC $87.9 million [21].

 

 

 

[25]

[22] August: Osage County

“August: Osage County”

The dark comedy based on a Pulitzer Prize winning play portrays a dysfunctional family coming together after a death. Starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, it was nominated for two Oscars[23]. The film had a limited opening weekend of $179,302 in December 2013 and a wide opening of $7.1 million [24]. The film has accumulated $37.7 million domestically and $34.7 million foreign, netting TWC $52.4 million [24].

 

 

 

STRATEGICALLY TWC TAKES ON TV 

A $370 million line of credit from Union Bank helped TWC enter the television market in 2013 [25]TWC’s COO David Glasser explained, “We’ve invested a lot in TV because we see it as a big part of our future.”[26] Now in 2014 the future is here. Having TV under TWC’s belt is an asset creating versatile operations, revenue, and a presence in the TV industry.

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TWC acquired the U.S. distribution rights to the Sky Italia drama series, ‘Gomorra’ from Beta Film, an international distributor [27]Stefano Sollima directed this series based on a bestselling novel about the Neapolitan crime administration Camorra, and is set for release in 2015 [28]. Harvey Weinstein shares “This project caught our eye a while back for its world-class acting talent, as well as Sollima’s abilities to craft a thriller like none other.” [29] This acquisition benefits TWC with new innovative programming, and Beta Film providing ‘Gomorra’ access into American homes.

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With the buzz generated from “Netflix Original Series,” TWC is jumping in. The highly anticipated Weinstein Company drama ,“Marco Polo”, is in production for Netflix and will premiere nearing the end of 2014 [30]Harvey Weinstein reported, “We are proud to present a series that rivals some of the most successful films we’ve ever made. We are excited to introduce him (Marco Polo) to the world.” [31]

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TWC‘s recent partnership with media company Gannett gives TWC an advantage with exclusive access to use Gannett’s expansive media library and retain distribution rights from Gannett’s television stations, newspapers, and digital assets [32]. Weinstein’s President of Television Maryam Banikarim, told Street Insider, “This groundbreaking venture will allow us to discover and explore rich new narratives for a wide array of audiences.” [33]

COMING SOON TO THEATERS NEAR YOU

TWC is continuing their Oscar worthy slate of films this summer, staying true to their demographics and genres of past films. These soon-to-be hit films with A-list names will hopefully yield them success at the 2015 Oscar’s and in the box office.

“The Giver”

The Giver Trailer [34]

“The Giver”, a science-fiction film, directed by Phillip Noyce stars Oscar winners Meryl Streep, Katie Holms, Jeff Bridges, and singer Taylor Swift [35]. The film, which various companies attempted to produce previously, is loosely based on the classic 1993 Lois Lowry novel. Jeff Bridges called it “your next favorite movie.” [36] The story, set to release in August, illustrates a utopian society in which a boy is chosen to learn from an elder the true pains and pleasures of the real world [37]

“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”

Sin City Trailer [38]

The drama/thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez [39], is a sequel to the successful 2005 Weinstein film “Sin City” which domestically grossed $74 million [40]. The black and white, 3D-esque thriller will be hitting the screens in August. The star packed cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lady Gaga, Jeremy Piven, Jessica Alba, and Bruce Wills to name a few [41]. Considering the triumph the original picture had and the megastar cast “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” will likely attract crowds to the box office.

“Begin Again”

Begin Again Trailer [42]

The romantic-comedy film from writer-director John Carney is set to release on July 4th [43]. “Begin Again” follows a distressed ex-recrod label executive, Mark Ruffalo, fall in love with a young singer-songwriter, Kira Knightley, after her boyfriend, Adam Levine, dumped her [44]. At the Tribecca Film Festival Carney explained, “Begin Again is a true New York story about magical opportunities.” [45] This classic summer “romcom” will catch movie goers attention from the star studded cast, to the simple yet entertaining plot.

FUTURE OF TWC

The future for TWC is positive and optimistic. Prior to last year TWC was a dominant player in Oscar awards. Presuming this year was a fluke, TWC should bounce back stronger next Oscar season. Additionally, the significant infusion of cash into its TV segment, will bolster the company’s position in the industry, while likely improving its bottom line.

 Sources

[1] Weinstein Company Logo, Ramascreen.com, RT: 4/12/2014

[2] “About The Weinstein Company”, Weinsteinco.com, RT: 4/11/2014

[3] “Dimension Films”, Disney.Wika.com, RT: 4/11/2014

[4] Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman, Time, RT: 4/10/2014

[5] Bob Weinstein, Co-Chairman TWC & Dimension Films, Zimbo.com, RT:4/10/2014

[6] Studio Market Share 2014, BoxofficeMojo.com, RT: 4/15/2014

[7] Studio Market Share 2013, BoxofficeMojo.com, RT: 4/15/2014

[8] Lee Daniels’ The Butler Movie Poster, IMBD, RT: 4/12/2014

[9] “The Butler’ Serves Up Box-Office Sucess at No. 1”, Fox News, 8/18/2013, RT: 4/12/2014

[10] “Weekend Box Office: ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler Wins Again”, Movie Fone, 8/25/2013, RT: 4/12/201

[11] Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), BoxofficeMojo.com, RT: 4/13/2014

[12] Vampire Academy Movie Poster, themidnightgarden.com, RT: 4/14/2014

[13] “BOX OFFICE: Vampire Academy’ Has No Bite”, Yahoo Movies, 2/10/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

[14] Vampire Academy (2014), BoxofficeMojo.com, RT: 4/14/2014

[15] OSCARS: Nominations By Studio & Distributor, Deadline Hollywood, RT: 4/12/2014

[16] 20 Feet From Stardom Movie Poster, Filmberg.com, RT: 4/13/2014

[17] “20 Feet From Stardom Synopsis”, 20feetfromstardom.com, RT: 4/12/2014

[18] “Oscars 2014: ’20 Feet From Stardom’ wins for documentary”, Los Angles Times, 3/02/2014, RT: 4/12/2014

[19] Philomena Movie Poster, impawards.com, RT: 4/14/2014

[20] Oscar Nominations By Picture, Deadline Hollywood, RT: 4/14/2014

[21] Philomena (2013), Boxofficemojo.com, RT: 4/14/2014

[22] August: Osage County Movie Poster, broadyway.com, RT: 4/15/2014

[23] “Harvey Weinstein on disappointing Oscar showing for ‘Osage County’ have only myself to blame”, Entertainment Weekly, 2/21/2014, RT: 4/15/2014

[24] August: Osage County (2013), Boxofficemojo.com, RT: 4/15/2014

[25] “The Weinstein Co. Finalizing $370 Million Credit Facility: Report”, Deadline Hollywood, 9/19/2013, RT: 4/16/2014

[26] “The Weinstein Company: stirring drama”, ScreenDaily.com, 4/02/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[27] “TWC Closes Deal for U.S. Rights to Italy’s ‘Gomorrah’ Skein”, Variety, 4/07/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[28] “Weinstein to build Gomorra in US”, c21media.net, 3/08/2014, RT: 4/17/2014

[29] Weinstein Co Acquires Italian Crime Drama Series ‘Gomorra’ , Deadline Hollywood, 4/08/2014, RT: 4/15/2014

[30] Marco Polo (TV Series 2014), IMBD, RT: 4/18/2014

[31] “‘Marco Polo’: Production underway for Weinstein Company’s Netflix Show”, Entertainment Weekly, 4/08/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[32] “Gannett (GCI) and The Weinstein Co. Enter First Look Film And Television Deal”, Streetinsider.com, 4/02/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[33] “Gannnett Co., Ince And The Weinstein Company Enter Into A Unique First Look Film And Television Development Deal”, PR News Wire, 4/02/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[34] The Giver Trailer, YouTube, 3/19/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

[35] “Weinstein Dates ‘The Giver’ Starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges for August 2014”, IMBD, 9/21/2013, RT: 4/16/2014

[36] “Jeff Bridges Talks About Your Next Favorite Movie”, Moviepilot.com, 2/12/2014,  RT: 4/16/2014

[37] “‘The Giver’ trailer: Meryl Streep! Jeff Bridges! Color?!”, Entertainment Weekly, 3/19/2014, RT: 4/17/2014

[38] “Sin City 2″ Trailer Release”, Weinsteinco.com, 3/17/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[39] Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Trailer, YouTube, 4/06/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[40] Sin City (2005), Boxofficemojo.com, RT: 4/17/2014

[41] “5 Reasons you should be excited for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For”, Metro, 3/07/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[42] Begin Again Trailer, YouTube, 3/28/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[43] “‘Begin Again’ Movie 2014 Official Trailer Released Starring Adam Levine and Keira Knightley”Hallels.com, 4/01/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[44] “Trailer and Poster for Begin Again Starring Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo”, Movienewz.com, 4/03/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

[45] “Begin Again To Close Tribeca Film Festival”, Triebcaflim.com, 3/20/2014, RT: 4/16/2014

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