×

Weinstein Company Trying to Sell ‘Paddington 2’ Before Bankruptcy Filing (EXCLUSIVE)

The Weinstein Company is trying to find a buyer for “Paddington 2” before the indie film studio files for bankruptcy protection.

The company has domestic rights to the family film, and has talked to several studios, including Sony and MGM, about such a deal. Sony is believed to be in the lead position to land the rights, insiders say, but the studio is concerned about legal entanglements surrounding the picture.

At the same time, the Weinstein Co.’s  board of directors and leadership had been negotiating with Vine Investment Advisors and Fortress Investment Group about a possible $20 million to $35 million bridge loan that would enable the company to meet its payroll obligations. Insiders, however, believe that such a loan is looking increasingly unlikely. It also carries risks. The studio would use part of its film and television library as collateral. The libraries are already heavily mortgaged and further leveraging them could create additional headaches if the company has to file for Chapter 11. There is a strong sense that the Weinstein Co. could file for bankruptcy protection as early as Monday or Tuesday. The company is known to have retained FTI Consulting, a financial advisory firm that’s well-versed in corporate restructuring.

The Weinstein C0. would like to close a deal for “Paddington 2” before it undertakes any filing. It believes that the film’s monster opening in the United Kingdom last weekend, where it picked up $10.8 million, will increase the price tag. Studiocanal, the film’s producer, has the right of first refusal on any deal.

Insiders say the Weinstein Co. is saddled with as much as $500 million in debt and obligations. The company’s fiscal crisis has been exacerbated by the extraordinary wave of sexual assault allegations leveled against co-founder and former co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. The accusations have spurred an exodus of Weinstein Co. creative and business partners, sending the company into free fall even though Weinstein was fired last month.

Cynthia Littleton and Elsa Keslassy contributed to this report.

More Film

  • Grant Sputore

    'I Am Mother' Director Tackles Margot Robbie-Produced Thriller 'Augmented'

    Warner Bros. has hired “I Am Mother” director Grant Sputore to helm the science-fiction thriller “Augmented” which Margot Robbie is producing, Variety has learned exclusively. Michael Lloyd Green is rewriting an original script by Mark Townend. Denise Di Novi and Tom Ackerley are also producing. Production companies are Robbie’s LuckyChap and Di Novi’s eponymous Di [...]

  • Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus Teases 'Charlie's Angels' Collaboration with Ariana Grande and Lana Del Rey

    Three of the biggest female pop stars have joined forces in a new song for the Elizabeth Banks-directed reboot of “Charlie’s Angels.” In a tweet posted Wednesday, Miley Cyrus hinted at a collaboration between herself, Lana Del Rey, and Ariana Grande in the forthcoming film. Alongside a 14-second teaser, originally posted by Sony Pictures, the [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Subscription Program Hits 860k Members

    AMC’s subscription service, launched in 2018 as a challenger to MoviePass, has reached 860,129 members in its first 12 months. Given the unwieldy moniker of AMC Stubs A-List, the service costs between $19.95 to $23.95 per month depending on where users live. The company initially said it had hoped to sign up 500,000 members in [...]

  • Directors Guild Bans Day-and-Date Releases From

    Directors Guild Wades Into Streaming Movie Debate With Day-and-Date Awards Ban

    In a slap at streaming services, the Directors Guild of America has banned “day and date” releases from its top feature film award. The DGA announced Wednesday that it was taking the step “in recognition of the unique cultural importance of the theatrical experience to audiences and filmmakers alike.” Its national board unanimously approved the change [...]

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    LGBTQ Groups Backing SAG-AFTRA in Member Privacy Fight Against IMDb

    SAG-AFTRA has announced that a coalition of national LGBTQ groups is backing the union in its fight for member privacy against IMDb. The groups include the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country’s oldest national LGBTQ advocacy group; GLAAD; the Transgender Law Center; the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund; Transcend Legal, Inc.; and Equality Federation. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content