Company 'in a good place' post-Weinstein era
B.O.: $87 millionTop pic: “The Queen,” $56 million Exec suite: Daniel Battsek, prexy; Keri Putnam, prexy, production; Elliot Slutzky, sr. VP, distribution Analysis: “We’re in a good place,” Daniel Battsek says, and who could disagree? There have been a few bumps in the road, but Battsek & Co. have engineered a surprisingly smooth transition from the Weinstein era. Last awards season, on the heels of winning the foreign-film trophy with Toronto pickup “Tsotsi,” they drove “The Queen” from the New York Film Festival to Helen Mirren’s Oscar win, registering one of the top-10 platform grosses of the past decade. That kudos knack likely helped Miramax secure domestic rights to Cannes fave “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” which joins the Coen brothers’ “No Country for Old Men” (a split with Paramount Vantage) as the main award hopefuls on the slate. Still, some recent titles struggled. Like most of its studio-affiliated competitors, the Disney unit is shifting from pickups to in-house productions. “The Hoax” and “The Lookout,” productions that Miramax took over, earned critical praise but minimal box office. One asset Battsek points to is producer Scott Rudin, whose longtime Paramount pact shifted to Disney and Miramax in 2006. He is on board to produce a film version of “Doubt,” which shoots early next year. Other titles in the pipeline include “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” “Brideshead Revisited” and “Adventureland.” Up next:
- “Gone Baby Gone,” Oct. 19
- “No Country for Old Men,” Nov. 9
- “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” Dec. 19
- “City of Men,” Jan. 18
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