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    January 31, 2010

    MIRAMAX SHUTS DOWN

    In 1979, Miramax, a brainchild of Harvey and Bob Weinstein was formed, with the name was taken after their parents. Over the years of success, the production studio suffered a major setback like many others - financial. Today, Miramax will no longer in operation following Disney's decision to cease the arthouse for good.

    During the early years, Miramax through the founders, the Weinstein brothers have very much making the studio one of the best and successful independent and arthouse studio at the time. Their first success came in 1982, when the brothers teamed up with Martin Lewis, a British producer to acquire the US rights to two concert films Lewis had produced for human right organization Amnesty International. The results, The Secret Policeman's Other Ball was a success.

    They continued their streak of breakthrough films with movies like Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, The Crying Game and Clerks. The company was best remembered for producing popular cult classics like Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction in 1994, Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creature in 1994, Anthony Minghella's The English Patient which won the Best Picture in 1996's Oscar and John Madden's Shakespeare in Love which won the Best Picture in 1999's Oscar. Also on the lists are Chicago, the musical film that has made more than $300 million worldwide and winning Best Picture in 2003's Oscar.

    Despite the success, money has always been a major problem. In 1993, Disney offered the brothers a lucrative $70 million to buy the studio. The brothers continued to run Miramax as it is. However, in 2005, after a clash with Michael Eisner, the brothers forced to left the company and to let go of the Miramax named to eventually form a new company - The Weinstein Company, which currently also struggling with financial issues.

    With Disney's announcement to cease the Miramax, what are the future holds for the remaining projects that are still under productions? What are the future holds for the 80 peoples whom had lost their jobs?

    The studio endured endless rumors of its impending closure. On Oct. 2, Disney announced that “Miramax Films will reduce the number of films it releases annually while consolidating certain of its operations.” Dick Cook, the former chairman of the studio, told me last summer that while reduced in size, the studio would continue. But by year-end , Dick Cook was gone, and Rich Ross had taken over. Soon after, Daniel Battsek was gone, too.

    When The Wrap asked Harvey Weinstein how he felt, he wrote:
    I'm feeling very nostalgic right now. I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob's watch will live on as well as the fantastic films made under the direction of Daniel Battsek. Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organization and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry.
    There are currently six films awaiting for distribution by Miramax - among them are Last Night, The Debt and The Tempest.

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