Written off repeatedly during its bumpy startup years, the Weinstein Co. has finally strung together some moves — and movies — that could potentially right the ship.
“We almost feel like this fall is the beginning,” says Bob Weinstein. “Harvey built the infrastructure while I was making the movies. But now the mood here is that we’re excited.”
The Harvey side of the operation just hit a high note with “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” And, in January, the rancorous MGM distrib deal finally expires and TWC will handle its own titles, feeding Showtime in a new pay-TV pact.
Lee Solomon, ex-principal of Grosvenor Park, took the new post of chief operating officer.
Headaches included the plummeting stock of Genius Products, the homevid company in which TWC has a 70% stake. “Nine,” Rob Marshall’s adaptation of the stage musical, was delayed. And one Oscar hopeful after another fell short, a list including “I’m Not There,” “Grace Is Gone,” “Control” and “The Great Debaters.”
As for B.O. results since Labor Day 2007, TWC’s Dimension breakouts included “Halloween” ($58 million), released via MGM, and “Rambo” ($43 million) via Lionsgate. Of TWC-distributed titles, March release “Under the Same Moon” ($12.6 million) topped the list; pic’s marketing was handled by Fox Searchlight.
This past February, TWC launched Third Rail Releasing, a label geared toward the genre and homevid biz (“a page out of Lionsgate’s book,” Weinstein calls it), with six titles that averaged a $235,000 cume.
B.O. CUME: $22 million*
TOP PIC: “Under the Same Moon,” $12.6 million
TOPPERS: Harvey and Bob Weinstein, co-chairmen; Steve Bunnell, distribution chairman
UP NEXT (via MGM):
“Zack and Miri Make a Porno” (Oct. 31)
“Killshot,” “Soul Men” (Nov. 7)
“The Road” (Nov. 14)
“Fanboys” (Nov. 26)
“Crossing Over” (Dec. 3)
“Extreme Movie” (Dec. 5)
“Hurricane Season” (Dec. 25)
“Shanghai” (Dec. 25)
“The Reader” (4th quarter, TBA)
* includes Third Rail