After more than a decade as the top independent film outfit in Hollywood, The Weinstein Co. could be sold off to Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital.
The company revealed Monday that it had received a lifeline investment from the fund, owned by the close ally of Donald Trump.
The announcement arrived 11 days after a bombshell Oct. 5 New York Times report and then an Oct. 10 New Yorker investigation that outlined Harvey Weinstein’s decades worth of sexual assault and harassment allegations and settlements.
The announcement comes as a reversal from co-founder Bob Weinstein’s statement late last week that TWC was not pursuing a sale despite mounting problems in the wake of news that his brother Harvey allegedly assaulted and sexually harassed women spanning three decades and two continents.
The Weinstein Co. began in 2005, after Bob and Harvey Weinstein had an acrimonious split with Disney, which owned their first production outfit, Miramax. With TWC, the brothers hoped to build on the reputation they had earned with Miramax, where they churned out award-season favorites like Shakespeare in Love, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting and Chicago.
At TWC, Harvey quickly proved that, despite the name change, he had not lost his golden touch. TWC has had at least one best-picture nominee in every Oscars since the company began, with two consecutive best picture wins with The King’s Speech in 2011 and The Artist in 2012. Weinstein movies like Inglorious Bastards, Silver Linings Playbook, The Fighter and The Iron Lady earned some of Hollywood’s biggest stars — from Meryl Streep to Christian Bale to Jennifer Lawrence — Oscar statuettes of their own.
Over the last two years, though, TWC had began to falter both at the box office and during awards season. Movies like The Hateful Eight, The Founder and Tulip Fever were among TWC’s commercial failures.
In more recent years, as its success at the box office began to dwindle, TWC was buoyed by a budding television department. The company is behind the British drama Peaky Blinders and the Netflix series Marco Polo, and has several big-name projects in the works including Taylor Sheridan’s television debut, Yellowstone, and the crime thriller Waco. Both shows are set up at the Paramount Network.
Colony was part of a media consortium that bought Miramax from Disney in 2010, after the Weinsteins exited, for $663 million.