Company mixes successes with miscalculations
B.O.: $48 million
Top pic: “Grindhouse,” $25 million
Exec suite: Harvey and Bob Weinstein, co-chairmen; Steve Bunnell, chairman, domestic distribution
Analysis: When a high-profile misfire is your top picture of the year, something is undeniably amiss, but the Weinstein Co. has woven such a complex web of distribution deals and corporate assets that it’s hard to know how exactly to quantify the situation. Counting TWC titles released via MGM and Lionsgate, Weinstein has brought forth two of the biggest indie success stories of the summer: “1408,” distribbed under a deal with MGM and a surprise winner with $71 million, and “Sicko,” a one-off fee deal with Lionsgate that produced waves of publicity and a $24 million cume. Still, other miscalculations (“Breaking and Entering,” “Miss Potter,” “Factory Girl”) are leaving backers of the $1.2 billion startup frustrated with the core business. Harvey Weinstein has started regularly railing against competitors, not a foreign notion for him but doing so from back in the pack has a different tone. In between verbal missiles, he gives the company props for “continuing to make great films, just as we always have.” He cited filmmakers such as Stephen Daldry, Anthony Minghella and Todd Haynes, and top-tier stars like Denzel Washington, who directed and stars in TWC’s Christmas pic “The Great Debaters.” An overall deal struck with Minghella and Sidney Pollack’s Mirage shingle is the kind of pact that keeps TWC in the conversation.
- “Grace Is Gone,” Oct. 5
- “Control,” Oct. 10
- “Rogue,” Oct. 12
- “I’m Not There,” Nov. 21
- “Cassandra’s Dream,” Nov. 30
- “Crossing Over,” November
- “The Great Debaters,” Dec. 25
* TWC’s total B.O. as reported to EDI. If TWC-marketed titles released by MGM and Lionsgate had counted towards TWC’s cume, the tally would have neared $255 million.