The Weinstein Company and Miramax announced on Thursday an agreement to produce sequels to some of the best-known films in the Miramax library.
The companies said they would also partner on new television shows and special edition home entertainment releases.
The agreement includes eight films that had not previously had the sequel rights worked out, including “Bad Santa,” “Rounders” and “Shakespeare in Love.”
Weinstein will produce the movies, and while Miramax will have the option to co-finance, it is not anticipated that they will choose to do so, according to an individual with knowledge of the deal.
Under the deal, if Weinstein finances the films, Miramax will retain only a five percent gross stake, making the projects essentially Weinstein properties.
"Shakespeare in Love" is unlikely to be an early project. Instead, most of the sequels will be made in Bob Weinstein's division — a sequel to "Bad Santa" and "Amityville Horror" is planned, along with possibly a television series based on "Swingers."
Weinstein expects to make about five such sequels in the next two years.
The eight films in the deal also include "Bridget Jones’s Diary," "Copland," "From Dusk Till Dawn," "Clerks" and "Shall We Dance."
This partnership is similar to one that already exists between the two companies to produce sequels like "Scream 4" (due April 15, 2011), "Spy Kids 4" (August 19, 2011) and "Scary Movie 5."
Newly-installed CEO Mike Lang told TheWrap in an interview earlier this week that he would be focusing on the library for the first two years, but also seek to develop sequels based on existing titles.
"Over the long term, we’ll do more and more on our own, but our focus has to be on the core library," Lang told TheWrap. "That doesn’t mean we won’t do new projects either through acquisitions or by developing the sequel rights we received as part of the deal. We got hundreds of projects that are in various stages of development."
Lang added: "Sequel rights are something we are going to exploit aggressively."
In the release, Lang pointed out that the agreement "will extend the Miramax library while also enabling us to create new content without committing near-term capital.”
Here’s the press release:
MIRAMAX ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY TO PRODUCE SEQUELS
SANTA MONICA and LOS ANGELES (December 16, 2010) – Miramax and The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced an agreement to create sequels to some of Miramax’s best-known properties and to partner on potential new television shows and special edition home entertainment products.
The first films to be produced under the agreement will be sequels to Bad Santa, Rounders and Shakespeare in Love. The other potential sequels and TV projects are Bridget Jones’s Diary, Copland, From Dusk Till Dawn, Swingers, Clerks, Shall We Dance, and The Amityville Horror. This partnership augments an existing relationship between the companies on such franchises as Scream 4 (to be released April 15, 2011), Spy Kids 4 (to be released August 19, 2011) and Scary Movie 5.
In addition, Miramax will handle digital distribution on select sequel projects. Miramax and TWC have also agreed to develop new, special edition materials for Blu-ray releases, 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,” stated TWC’s Harvey and Bob Weinstein. “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.”
Mike Lang, CEO of Miramax, stated: “We are thrilled and honored to work with Harvey and Bob Weinstein. There is no better partner to build on these great films and turn them into franchises, while also creating exciting new TV properties. 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,” stated TWC COO David Glasser. “We clearly believe it will be mutually beneficial for both companies.”
The Miramax library is a collection of 700 motion pictures which were produced, financed or distributed by Miramax Films since 1979. The Miramax library holds some of the world’s most sophisticated, thought-provoking and critically-acclaimed independent films including sex, lies, and videotape, The English Patient, Shakespeare In Love, 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, as well as scores of commercially successful films such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, the Scream, Hellraiser and Scary Movie franchises and Spy Kids. Collectively the Miramax archives have received 284 Academy Award nominations and 68 Oscars, including 4 Best Picture Awards.
For more information, please visit www.miramax.com.
About The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as Scream, Spy Kids and Scary Movie. Since its launch, TWC and Dimension Films have also released such films as Grindhouse, Lucky Number Slevin, 1408, I’m Not There, The Mist, The Great Debaters, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, The Reader, The Road, Clerks II, Factory Girl, Halloween, A Single Man, The Pat Tillman Story, Piranha 3D and such recent Oscar nominees as Nine and Inglourious Basterds.
Currently in release is Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Upcoming films include Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, starring Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling, and John Wells’ feature directorial debut Company Men, starring Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Costner, Rosemary DeWitt, Maria Bello and Chris Cooper. Recently wrapping is My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Dominic Cooper, Emma Watson and Julia Ormond, Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids 4 with Jessica Alba, and the new installment of Scream 4.