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Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Old 11-03-09, 04:48 PM
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Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

I don't understand why they haven't been the same after they lost the Miramax name. It was just a name, no? Harvey and Bob are still the two that decided on the great movies that they produced during the glory days, right?

Ever since they lost the name and the company they haven't returned to anything like they were. I am sure I don't know the whole story, I am just going on my limited perception which is why I am wondering what all transpired and why they haven't continued in the same fashion as when they were Miramax. Why the movies and stories and directors they harnessed while at Miramax didn't carry over with them.

I know Harvey, I think, has this bull headedness about him and sometimes during Oscar season uses tactics that aren't the most friendly, i guess, but I thought that is what propelled them.

I know Tarantino has stuck with them and their Weinstein Company and have found the limited success with his releases. Kevin Smith, as well, but his movies certainly aren't box office gold or Oscar gold.

But was the name change that devastating to the pair?

Last edited by OldBoy; 11-03-09 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 11-03-09, 05:10 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

'cause their movie makers and not CEOs. They should have stuck to making good movies, not finding good movies and delaying them several years or changing storylines/plots.
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Old 11-03-09, 05:28 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

this is bizarre, when i just went to look up Harvey at IMDb, i found this article:

Could the Weinstein's get Miramax back?

I can't be the only one who's always had trouble telling the difference between Miramax and The Weinstein Company. It was Bob and Harvey Weinstein, of course, who made Miramax what it was back in the 90s, but the brothers weren't allowed to keep the name when they split from parent company Disney four years ago, forcing them to abandon the label named for their parents and start their own shingle.

But with Miramax all but shut down at this point, and Disney apparently not all that interested in keeping the label alive, is it time for the Weinsteins to get the name back? The Wrap has heard from a Weinstein spokesperson that the brothers would indeed like to ask Disney for the name, though a Disney rep says she hasn't heard anything about it.

It's unclear exactly what Disney thinks it wants to do at this point with the independent label, especially giving the diminishing nature of the independent industry. Wouldn't it make sense to return the name to the rightful owners and get out of the racket entirely? I know it would be a whole lot less confusing for me when remembering which publicist to e-mail about a given film.
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Old 11-03-09, 05:33 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Two things come to mind:

1. They have burned bridges with a lot of actors and directors because of their meddlesome, bullish personalities.

2. Cinema in general is having issues with finding investors and the Weinsteins were basically a glorified independent company. The economic issues have hit them as they have hit every other independent movie company.
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Old 11-03-09, 07:20 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by scott1598 View Post
I know Tarantino has stuck with them and their Weinstein Company and have found the limited success with his releases. Kevin Smith, as well, but his movies certainly aren't box office gold or Oscar gold.
Kevin Smith jumped ship, and A Couple of Dicks is being released through Warner Bros. There was a SModcast a few months ago where Smith was dancing around how to say that he has had enough of Harvey, IIRC.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:16 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Read the book Down and Dirty Pictures. Afterwards, you'll be wondering how they were ever successful in the first place.
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Old 11-04-09, 02:39 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Harvey Weinstein is the reason you're supposed to be nice to those on your way up- because you're going to meet them on the way down. He stepped on too many people and meddled, caustically, in too many films from too many actors and producers in his quests for success, that he managed to build up so much bad will against him that ANY sign of weakness is a chance for the Hollywood community to punish him.
To make matters worse, he's also managed to release a lot of bad films: Hoodwinked? Doogal?
Not making anyone's guilty pleasure list, and would be used at GITMO if they had a higher profile.
I mean, would you want to be associated with crap that fails? (as opposed to successful crap like Transformers)
Their company has managed to release a few good films (Control, Inglorious Bastards), but success has been transient if it's been there at all.
Another reason probably has to do with the fact that, at least while Miramax was booming in the 1990s, working there was a singularly awful experience for anyone that wasn't Harvey's buddy. Being at the bottom of a Hollywood company is usually miserable, but Miramax apparently managed to increase the misery considerably. Inevitably, people get fired or move on to other jobs where they had some ability to defer worthwhile projects and talent away from the Weinsteins. They are effectively reaping the seeds of hate they planted.
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Old 11-04-09, 05:48 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by scott1598 View Post
I don't understand why they haven't been the same after they lost the Miramax name.
Because the entire indie film industry has collapsed in the last couple years and the Weinsteins haven't been able to buck the trend.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:01 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Plus, The Weinstein's don't have the disney bankroll behind them like they used to. Weinstein's used to spend a lot of money of their "Independent" films with Miramax in the late 90's into the 00's.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:52 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

An article in the Sunday Business section of the New York Times a few weeks ago examined this very question in some depth. What I remember from it is that Harvey dabbled in so many businesses that weren't movie-related that he lost a lot of money and his energies were diverted from making movies. Also, being a distributor cut into the company's strengths as a producer.
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Old 11-04-09, 01:01 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by MrSmearkase View Post
Kevin Smith jumped ship, and A Couple of Dicks is being released through Warner Bros. There was a SModcast a few months ago where Smith was dancing around how to say that he has had enough of Harvey, IIRC.
That was a painful SModcast, because it was so obvious that Smith felt loyalty to the guy who gave him his career, but on the same page, was starting to negatively affect Smith's more recent output. Good film or not, there's no denying Zack and Miri was terribly marketed.
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Old 11-04-09, 06:40 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by dx23 View Post
Two things come to mind:

1. They have burned bridges with a lot of actors and directors because of their meddlesome, bullish personalities.

2. Cinema in general is having issues with finding investors and the Weinsteins were basically a glorified independent company. The economic issues have hit them as they have hit every other independent movie company.
Agree with this... and I have a feeling this thread could turn really ugly.

I will add that they have had huge issues on marketing their films as well. I am not sure who was in charge of that but they dropped the ball on several films that could have done well for them.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:03 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
'cause their movie makers and not CEOs. They should have stuck to making good movies, not finding good movies and delaying them several years or changing storylines/plots.
They've always done that. Even back in the Miramax days.

I think the answer is simply they no longer have Disney money behind them. They were great at making deals, developing independents, acquiring domestic distribution for foreign films, and marketing slightly exotic fare to the mainstream, but they did it with a lot of money behind them. They made money, but they had to spend money to make money. Now, without the money to spend, it's harder for them to make it. That being said are they strugling? Today they seem to be "right sized" as they say, with a lot of distribution deals and exclusive content agreements w/ Blockbuster and the like.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:06 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by d2cheer View Post
Agree with this... and I have a feeling this thread could turn really ugly.

I will add that they have had huge issues on marketing their films as well. I am not sure who was in charge of that but they dropped the ball on several films that could have done well for them.
I'd say they dropped the ball big time on marketing:
Zack and Miri
The Matador
Outlander

and most recently, The Road.

Delaying that last one over a year, isn't going to inspire confidence in anyone in regards to its quality.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:12 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
That was a painful SModcast, because it was so obvious that Smith felt loyalty to the guy who gave him his career, but on the same page, was starting to negatively affect Smith's more recent output. Good film or not, there's no denying Zack and Miri was terribly marketed.
Any idea what episode that is? I'd love to listen to it.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:20 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

ditto
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Old 11-04-09, 08:41 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Any idea what episode that is? I'd love to listen to it.
Originally Posted by Solid Snake PAC View Post
ditto
I'm not positive, but from looking at the episode guide on wikipedia, it may be episodes 68 & 69, entitled The Talking Cure Parts I & II. They came after an almost 2 month break from recording, as apparently the performance of Z&M hit Smith pretty hard, and he hadn't been in much of a mood to talk about it previously. This could also explain why there is no commentary track on the DVD.
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Old 11-04-09, 08:49 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

I dont remember them talking about about the transfer of A Couple of Dicks on that one. I do remember that was the one were they were going to lash into the Weinsteins, but by halfway through the podcast had talked through it and decided not to burn anyone. It was very hard listening to that one and then get more of a personnel story from him when i went to his standup. I really felt for the guy when he explained his reason for being down so much at how bad the film did financially.
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Old 11-04-09, 09:04 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by beavis69 View Post
I dont remember them talking about about the transfer of A Couple of Dicks on that one.
I don't think he's ever explained why he was leaving the Weinsteins, but the writing is kind of on the wall. He has always been a pretty loyal guy, from his production team, to his casts, down to his fan service. I realize that it may seem presumptious to assume to that he is at Warner Bros. out of spite, but it feels like a safe assumption. It's the same loyalty I mentioned that is probably a reason why he has never straight-out said 'Fuck Harvey.'
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Old 11-04-09, 09:54 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

The Talking Cure 1 and 2 is all about the Zack and Miri debacle. There may have been a passing comment when talking about "A Couple of Dicks" in a future episode where he made reference to parting ways with the Weinsteins.

His going to Warner though has been a long time coming, as he told a story about a guy, I think it was Phil Oosterhouse, who was a jerk and pissed him off with some phone tag game. The guy apparently later apologized and turned him onto Warner down the line. I could be butchering that story, but I seem to recall that was the general idea.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:25 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by scott1598 View Post
I don't understand why they haven't been the same after they lost the Miramax name.
They didn't just lose the name, but also a pretty sweet deal.

In addition to the huge and steady financial backing Disney provided, Miramax also had a deal with Disney where they didn't have to report the costs for a film until they released it. This was to encourage a healthy release schedule for the films Miramax bought/made (they wouldn't have to rush a film out just so they could try and recoup the costs in the same year), but the Weinsteins used it to bury crappy films they knew would lose money by never releasing them.

In addition, the Weinsteins got bonuses based on their fiscal performance and staying under budget, so they'd sit on expensive films if it'd push them over budget for that year. This is why Jet Li's Hero sat on the shelf for two years (it cost $20 million to make, which would've pushed them over budget those years).

Here's a great article that shows that Miramax's last 5 years of "success" under the Weinsteins was largely an illusion that disappeared once they left and Disney was stuck releasing long-delayed duds:
http://www.slate.com/id/2127757/?nav=tap3

Last edited by Jay G.; 11-05-09 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 11-05-09, 02:58 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

I'm just going to repost what I wrote in the Inglorious Basterds thread.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/9551166-post554.html

As much as I'd like QT to have a financially successful film, anything that bring about the end of Harvey Weinstein will be for the good of filmmakers and cinema in general.

There are easliy dozens of filmmakers and probably hundreds of films that Weinstein has fucked over in some way.

With foreign movies he buys them and either sits on them for years, or makes arbitraty cuts.

With domestic movies, it's scream at and bully the director as much as possible every step of the way (even if the director is Scorsese).

"I'm not cutting for fun", Harvey Weinstein said in an interview. "I'm cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master: the film. I love movies."
And apparently his definition of good is the only one that counts.

I understand that people like QT, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith feel they owe Weinstein something because he helped them early in their careers, but are they really going to allow him to mess with every movie they ever make?

But even outside of the politics and finances of a Hollywood studio, he's still a slimy piece of garbage:
In a 2004 piece in New York magazine, Weinstein appeared somewhat repentant for his often aggressive discussions with directors and producers. However, an October 13, 2008 Newsweek story criticized Weinstein, who was accused of "hassling Sydney Pollack on his deathbed" about the release of the film The Reader. After Weinstein offered $1 million to charity if the accusation could be proven, journalist Nikki Finke published an August 22 email by Scott Rudin asserting that Weinstein "harassed" Anthony Minghella's widow and a bedridden Pollack until Pollack's family asked him to stop.
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Old 11-05-09, 09:58 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by Dr. Mantle View Post
I'm just going to repost what I wrote in the Inglorious Basterds thread.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/9551166-post554.html

But even outside of the politics and finances of a Hollywood studio, he's still a slimy piece of garbage:
Quote:
In a 2004 piece in New York magazine, Weinstein appeared somewhat repentant for his often aggressive discussions with directors and producers. However, an October 13, 2008 Newsweek story criticized Weinstein, who was accused of "hassling Sydney Pollack on his deathbed" about the release of the film The Reader. After Weinstein offered $1 million to charity if the accusation could be proven, journalist Nikki Finke published an August 22 email by Scott Rudin asserting that Weinstein "harassed" Anthony Minghella's widow and a bedridden Pollack until Pollack's family asked him to stop.

Which begs the question...Did Weinstein ever fork over the $1 million to charity as he'd offered?
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Old 11-05-09, 11:49 AM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Actually, that's par for the course for most Hollywood producers.
I'm not defending Harvey, but I think perspective is called for.
And somehow I doubt that $1M got paid...

Last edited by Neeb; 11-05-09 at 11:49 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-05-09, 12:12 PM
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Re: Why haven't the Weinstein's returned to glory?

Originally Posted by Boba Fett View Post
The Talking Cure 1 and 2 is all about the Zack and Miri debacle. There may have been a passing comment when talking about "A Couple of Dicks" in a future episode where he made reference to parting ways with the Weinsteins.

His going to Warner though has been a long time coming, as he told a story about a guy, I think it was Phil Oosterhouse, who was a jerk and pissed him off with some phone tag game. The guy apparently later apologized and turned him onto Warner down the line. I could be butchering that story, but I seem to recall that was the general idea.
I'll be listening to those two on the way home tonight. Thanks!
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