Weinsteins turn to other distribs


No one would ever accuse the Weinstein brothers of giving away the store, but this summer the Weinstein Co. did release its most successful titles through other distributors. As a result, Weinstein's own chart offers a deceptive snapshot of the company's activities.

Roman empire actioner "The Last Legion" was a summer also-ran, grossing just $5.8 million. The company, however, was quick to point out that the film was distributed as a service deal for producer Dino De Laurentiis, without the Weinstein Co. putting up any production or marketing costs. As for the Dimension label's "DOA: Dead or Alive," which appeared to live up to its moniker when it grossed about $480,300, the company noted that it was a token theatrical release intended to set up the flick for DVD sales.

Dimension had a lot more success with "1408," its adaptation of a Stephen King short story, and its remake of "Halloween" — both released through MGM. "1408," which put the PG-13 back in horror, climbed to an impressive $71.6 million, while "Halloween" took top honors during Labor Day weekend with its $30.6 million opening.

Meanwhile, the Weinstein Co. turned to Lionsgate to release Michael Moore's "Sicko." Headlines surrounded the health-care exposé from its Festival de Cannes premiere in May through its June 22 bow, and as the summer ended, the $21.1 million-grossing film was about to pass "An Inconvenient Truth" as the third-best-grossing nonmusical documentary of all time.