Financial woes at the company mean that its normally modest film production operation and its previously more active acquisition departments are both operating at their lowest levels in many years.
The studio has three films set to bow in the next year with the Thomas Edison pic “The Current War” opening on Nov. 24, the sequel to “Paddington” bowing on Jan. 12, the Kevin Hart pic “The Upside” on Mar. 9 and the religious pic “Mary Magdalene” get a pre-Easter opening on March 30. Weinstein Co. also has the action pic “Hotel Mumbai” awaiting a release date.
Genre division Dimension Films, run by Harvey’s brother Bob Weinstein, has a handful of pics also set to bow in the next year including “Amityville: the Awakening” (Oct. 28), “Polaroid” (Nov. 22) and “The War With Grandpa” (Feb. 23).
Beyond those films, sources say the studio has no projects expected to go into production before the end of the year, nor are there any pre-production efforts ramping up on films in development.
The Weinstein Co. and Dimension have announced a number of films in development: a Richard Pryor biopic that Lee Daniels is attached to direct, the NRA pic “The Senator’s Wife” with Meryl Streep attached to star, an untitled film about the death of Trayvon Martin that Jay-Z is producing and the remake of “The Six Billion Dollar Man” starring Mark Wahlberg. Sources close to various projects say there are no signs that any are close to a production start date, and that in many cases there’s been radio silence on their status.
Bob and Harvey are also listed as exec producers on Quentin Tarantino’s next pic, centered on the Manson family, but unlike Tarantino’s past films, it was already thought the Weinstein Co. would likely not distribute the film.
If Harvey Weinstein were to completely leave the company, it’s likely some of those producers would seek another home for their projects.
The Weinstein Co. has always relied heavily on its film acquisitions to fill its yearly slate and the company’s biggest hit of 2017, “Wind River,” is a perfect example of that model. Acquired at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the drama has already grossed $32 million after being acquired for $3 million.
In recent years though, the studio has become increasingly conservative on acquisition spending, leading to far fewer film buys as competition grows from players including Netflix and A24.
The studio has been very active on the TV front, with several projects either shooting or expected to bow in the next year, including Paramount Network limited series “Waco” starring Taylor Kitsch and Michael Shannon, David O. Russell’s untitled series at Amazon starring Robert De Niro and Paramount Network’s drama series “Yellowstone” starring Kevin Costner.