There was a time, back in the 90s, that Miramax was the the vanguard of independent filmmaking, despite being owned by Disney at the time. The studio, founded and run by the Weinstein brothers until 2005, pumped out cultural staples like Sex, Lies and Videotape, Scream, No Country for Old Men, and Good Will Hunting. That’s not to mention the fact that they were the home of both Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith for years. However, since the departure of the Weinsteins the house that made independent film viable as a business model has lost its cache to other studios. And so, as THR reports, it’s looking to sell.
There are four main studios who are “kicking the tires” right now: MGM, Lionsgate, Viacom, and Sony. It’s obvious to see why they’d be interested. All of them have aspirations in the streaming realm and Miramax’s library of more than 700 films, many of which are well known, would fit nicely on any company’s streaming platform or could be used as bargaining chips with a streaming partner like Netflix. The current owners, Qatar’s beIN Media Group, have also had some mild success recently rebooting Halloween so there’s at least one franchise to pick up in the deal.
Insiders say that beIN is currently open to either a studio buying a stake in the company or an all out sale. If it’s simply a stake, they say it will be a controlling one as whatever studio lays claim to the once proud company will likely want to control all its properties without answering to someone else. They’re valuing the company at $650 million, a testament to how little Miramax has done this decade since Disney sold it in 2010 to Filmyard for $663 million (beIN bought it from them in 2016).
There’s definitely a nostalgia for Miramax that makes yet another sale of the studio a little sad, but just a quick glance over their efforts this decade shows you that this isn’t the company that once pushed the boundaries of film on an almost yearly basis. Their work throughout has been focused on lackluster sequels like Sin City: A Dame to Kill For and low-rent comedies and horror. My guess is that whatever studio picks up Miramax will relegate it to a note in history, maybe having it produce some TV shows or something, but mostly using it for its past and not working towards any kind of new future.