Partnership will extend Miramax franchises

The Weinstein brothers would have liked to reclaim the entire Miramax library, but for now, the Weinstein Co. will be able to mine 10 Miramax titles for sequel potential.

The Weinsteins and the new owners of Miramax, who had been competing to buy Miramax from Disney, have now partnered to produce sequels to Miramax titles including “Bad Santa,” “Rounders” and “Shakespeare in Love,” with TWC handling domestic theatrical distribution and foreign rights.

They’re also considering sequels and TV adaptations for pics including “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” “The Amityville Horror” and “Copland,” according to Weinstein Co. chief operating officer David Glasser.

“I think right now eight is a very comfortable number for what we can do,” said Glasser, who predicted that the companies would put sequels to “Bad Santa,” “Rounders” and “Shakespeare in Love” into production next year. A potential adaptation of the 1996 pic “Swingers” will likely be shopped as a TV project next year.

“There had always been, over the years, a group of titles like ‘Bad Santa,’ ‘Amityville,’ ‘Bridget Jones,’ where we really thought … they could lend themselves to another sequel,” Glasser said.

Other pics under the new Weinstein-Miramax agreement include follow-ups to “From Dusk Till Dawn,” “Clerks” and “Shall We Dance,” with the last being eyed as a TV project.

Miramax, now owned by Filmyard Holdings, and TWC are already working together on “Scream 4,” “Spy Kids 4″ and “Scary Movie 5.”

Miramax is set to handle digital distribution on some of the sequels. It and TWC have also agreed to develop new material for Blu-ray special editions; roundtable discussions with thesps and directors have been mentioned as an example of possible new content.

“We want our company to be more than just about film,” said Miramax CEO Mike Lang, who has said that the company is in aggressive talks with digital partners. “We’re open for business.”

Lang credited former WME chief Jim Wiatt as “instrumental” in forging the partnership between TWC and Miramax, which comes after a turbulent time that saw TWC undergo a financial restructuring and emerge with a strong slate of end-of-the-year pics including “The King’s Speech.”

Harvey and Bob Weinstein pursued the reacquisition of the company they sold to Disney in 1993 but were outbid by the Filmyard Holdings group led by construction magnate developer Ron Tutor.

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