Viacom Bows Out of Bidding for Miramax Library

Courtesy of Miramax
Miramax CEO Bill Block

The indie studio has been seeking a buyer for its 700-title library.

Viacom has exited the bidding for the Miramax library, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday.

The Los Angeles-based company, which has been run by CEO Bill Block for the last two years, has been on the auction block for months as it looks to sell itself and its 700-plus titles, including Oscar winners like Pulp Fiction, Chicago and No Country for Old Men.  

The soon-to-be-merged ViacomCBS had been seen as a potential buyer for Miramax, as the conglomerate has been speculated to be on the hunt for assets as mogul Shari Redstone builds up the recombined company. Lionsgate had been a bidder for Miramax but bowed out in September. 

The market for library assets has picked up steam as multiple conglomerates — including Disney and AT&T's WarnerMedia — look to challenge Netflix in the direct-to-consumer space with their own streamers with thousands of hours of film and TV content. 

Miramax was founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein in 1979 and distributed titles like Steven Soderbergh's Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Disney bought the company in 1993, before it produced a slew of prestige films including The English Patient, Good Will Hunting and Shakespeare in Love

Miramax changed hands again in 2010 when Ronald Tutor and Colony Capital acquired the studio from Disney for what was said at the time to be $650 million.

Since 2016, Miramax has been owned by the Doha-based company BeIN Media Group. The company said it secured a $300 million line in 2018, which it said would help the studio produce four to six films a year as well as TV series. BeIN appeared to start publicly searching for a buyer earlier this year. 

Among Miramax's recent films, 2018's Halloween, co-produced with Blumhouse, grossed $255 million worldwide. Currently on the studio's slate is the Guy Ritchie crime caper The Gentleman as well as a Russell Crowe thriller titled The Georgetown Project.