Miramax

Touted as a haven for demanding auteurs

Off and running from its inception, post-Weinstein Miramax hit full stride in 2007.

Company shrewdly swapped foreign and domestic distrib chores with Paramount Vantage on co-productions “No Country for Old Men” and “There Will Be Blood.” Both fared well, especially at Oscar time, but “No Country” became the Coen brothers’ top-grossing pic, with $74 million en route to winning the best pic trophy.

Oscar noms also went to “Gone Baby Gone,” Ben Affleck’s directing debut and a $20 million grosser, as well as Cannes pickup “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” The Julian Schnabel-helmed “Diving Bell” made it to $6 million, a respectable tally for a French-language pic, but the venture also signaled to the biz that topper Daniel Battsek was willing to work with demanding auteurs.

Plenty of rivals whispered about the lavish kudos campaign for “No Country,” saying it came close to erasing theatrical profits. Battsek shrugs, “I’m sure any of our competitors would be proud to count ‘No Country’ as one of their films.”

Battsek’s Brit roots paved the way for crossover smash “The Queen” in 2006, and U.K. titles continue to stay in the mix, including July’s “Brideshead Revisited,” which posted respectable summer arthouse returns of $5.6 million, and the upcoming Mike Leigh pic “Happy-Go-Lucky.”

B.O. CUME: $121 million

TOP PIC: “No Country for Old Men,” $74 million

TOPPERS: Daniel Battsek, prexy; Keri Putnam, exec VP, production; Michael Luisi, exec VP, business affairs and operations

UP NEXT:

“Blindness” (Sept. 26)

“Happy-Go-Lucky” (Oct. 10)

“The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” (Nov. 7)

“Doubt” (Dec. 12)

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