A new, diminished Miramax era

Posted by · 3:20 pm · October 2nd, 2009

MiramaxI’ll have to just say it: this is sad.  Just from a movie-goer, awards-watcher standpoint.  Miramax has indeed been “folded-in” at Disney for about a year, as David Poland notes in his characteristic “nothing surprises me” fashion.  And Greg Ellwood has put together a nice analysis of the event over at his Awards Campaign blog at HitFix.  But beyond all that, it’s just…a bummer.

After all, it’s something of an end of an era for awards obsessives.  Miramax dominated the 1990s under the Weinstein brothers who founded the company, acquired by Disney in 1993.  The run is legendary, of course, and changed the way awards campaigns would be structured for years to come.  But even with the brothers’ departure in 2005, it seemed there could be a spark of renewal in the brand.

2006 saw the first post-Weinstein Best Picture nomination in Stephen Frears’s “The Queen,” and a year later, “No Country for Old Men” took the Oscar, the first Miramax win since 2002’s “Chicago.”  But the slate of upcoming releases was increasingly thin, and now, the company has been downsized considerably.  Anne Thompson also has more details.  In a nutshell, though, Miramax, as we’ve known it for two decades, is no more.

And like I said, it’s sad.  The changing face of the industry right now was both inevitable and necessary, but it’s going to be a bit weird to see this former awards giant virtually (if not completely) absent from the Oscar landscape.

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10 responses so far

  • 1 10-02-2009 at 3:34 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Kris, this is what I meant back in May.


    A particularly sad day for me, not only because I have friends who work there, but because I’ve worshipped at the Miramax altar since I was 12 years old, taking my AICN nom de plume MiraJeff from the company’s name. At least they didn’t do away with it altogether, which frankly, is sort of what I was expecting. Guess this makes more sense though, with the library and what not. I do think Everybody’s Fine looks pretty good…

  • 2 10-02-2009 at 3:57 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    they always took good risks, now its up to the brothers i suppose

  • 3 10-02-2009 at 4:44 pm

    Zac said...

    As much as I am sad to see them go, I’ll never forgive them for 1998 and 2000. I don’t think I need to elaborate, do I?

  • 4 10-02-2009 at 4:53 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Wow, just, wow. I haven’t been following their decline so this comes as a complete shock to me.

    It seems like some sort of an end to an era…

  • 5 10-02-2009 at 7:17 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    I actually don’t have a problem with Chocolat or Shakespeare in Love, love The English Patient, respect In the Bedroom so I was never a Miramax basher.

    They did have a good run though. I remember looking at the Chicago DVD special features and seeing this five minute run of Miramax goodness.

  • 6 10-02-2009 at 11:02 pm

    Dan said...

    As much as some people like to hate Miramax (particularly under the Weinsteins), they shepherded more really good films than just about anyone.

  • 7 10-03-2009 at 12:01 am

    snowballa said...

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. When one company can influence an awards show so negatively, it doesn’t mean good business.

  • 8 10-03-2009 at 1:07 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Perhaps I’m the only person on earth who was fine with “Chocolat”‘s Best Picture nomination. They’ve done worse *coughciderhouserulescough*

  • 9 10-04-2009 at 7:45 pm

    Encore Entertainment said...

    Damn straight. Cider House Rules is the travesty. I like Chocolat. And to think that Irving re-adapted his own novel and it still turned out like that.

  • 10 10-05-2009 at 7:32 am

    rosengje said...

    I know it isn’t rational, but I blame this partially on Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.