Weinstein Co., Miramax Ink Deal to Produce Movie Sequels

7:56 AM PST 12/16/2010 by Alex Ben Block

Their partnership could also extend to new television shows and special edition home entertainment products.

UPDATED: Just in time for Christmas: Get ready for Bad Santa 2.

That is one of the sequels proposed as the result of a deal announced Thursday between the new Miramax and the Weinstein Co. “to partner on potential new television shows and special edition home entertainment products.”

Since then the Weinsteins have unsuccessfully tried to reacquire an interest in Miramax with deep pocket partners, losing out to a group led by construction exec Ron Tutor and Thomas Barrack of Colony Capital, which closed a deal earlier this month for a $663 million acquisition of the 700 title library. This is a sign of pragmatism on both sides that puts behind them the open sniping and bitterness expressed during months of negotiations with Disney to see who would buy Miramax.

The new Miramax has said it will focus on ancillary distribution of the library, at least initially, and has no plans to immediately enter into production of new feature films.

Other potential sequels and TV projects announced by the Weinstein’s and Miramax CEO Mike Lang are Shakespeare in Love, Rounders, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Copland, From Dusk Till Dawn, Swingers, Clerks, Shall We Dance and The Amityville Horror.  

The deal adds to several sequels the Weinstein Company is already producing as part of their legacy deal with Disney, which granted them the right to remake a number of library titles. Those are Scream 4 (due out next April 15), Spy Kids 4 (coming Aug. 19) and Scary Movie 5.

As the legacy movies indicate, most of the titles that will be remade are likely to be exploitation titles like Scream and Scary Movie, not art films. There seems to be little chance we will be English Patient 2 any time soon. There is also talk of doing a TV series based on the movie Swingers.

The new Miramax has the right to partner with Weinstein on sequels but is expected to primarily act as a licensing agent in return for a 5 percent interest and in some cases the digital-distribution rights to the movies, according to a source.  

They will also work together on special edition Blu-ray releases, with bonus material such as roundtables featuring cast and directors.  

“We are very close to these films and the new management of Miramax also feels that we are in the best position to create sequels that are at once worthy and compelling in their own right,” TWC’s Harvey and Bob Weinstein said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Mike and his team on getting these films into production as soon as possible, and extending our partnership in the years ahead.”  

“There is no better partner to build on these great films and turn them into franchises, while also creating exciting new TV properties,” Lang said. “This agreement will extend the Miramax library while also enabling us to create new content without committing near-term capital.”

“This is the perfect addition to our ongoing slate, giving us the ability to work on already existing franchises that have had such lucrative success at the box office, as well as a great starting ground to our newfound relationship,” said Weinstein COO David Glasser

The Miramax library includes four best picture Oscar winners among movies that received 284 nominations and a total of 68 Oscars. Besides the titles mentioned, those include Reservoir Dogs, Chicago, Good Will Hunting, Pulp Fiction, My Left Foot, Cinema Paradiso, Life is Beautiful, Amélie, Kill Bill, Volume I and II, No Country for Old Men and Hellraiser.

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