Thursday, April 18, 2024

Weinstein Company Shut Down Will Leave Four or Five Movies High and Dry


The Wall Street Journal is reporting the obvious: The Weinstein Company is soon going to shut down and sell off its assets. They have no choice. Bob Weinstein and David Glasser activated a doomsday mission when they apparently cooperate in the ousting of Harvey. There was no way the company could go on, even with a different name.

But the end of TWC in the middle of awards season is tougher on the filmmakers than on the executives, all of whom have lots of money and real estate.

Right away, the biggest loster is “The Current War” with Michael Shannon and Benedict Cumberbatch. It didn’t play that well in Toronto. Harvey was trying to “fix” it with with a re-edit. But then all hell broke loose. Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon may never see a finished cut he’s happy with make it to theaters.

Really in a worse situation is “The Upside,” directed by Neil Burger adapted from the French hit “The Untouchables.” This comedy played really well in Toronto. Weinstein had it set for a last week of December qualifying run for the Oscars followed by a March release. Burger and the all star cast deserve better than oblivion. Any studio could pick this up and do well.

But then there’s “Mary Magdalene,” starring Rooney Mara and waiting for an Easter 2018 release. Garth Davis directed “Lion,” so there’s a lot of buzz here. Will “Mary” be sacrificed?

Also up in the air would be “Paddington 2.” The sequel to the original hit is set for January 12th. But again any studio can pick this one up, too.

What will New York be like without the Weinstein Company? Very, very different. Even though TWC was in decline, it was still a presence.  There was no movie business here at all before Miramax. Young people or people with short memories don’t realize this. But they will now.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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