Last week, Disney dropped a huge weight off its shoulders with the $663 million sale of Miramax Films to LA construction magnate Ron Tutor and a group of investors - including private equity firm Colony Capital. The sale, which ended more than a year of negotiations between Disney and a variety of potential partners, included Miramax's prized library of more than 700 films.
With the deal finalized, Miramax has moved quickly to fill out its executive team and put into place a new business plan.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Miramax has taken its first step as a newly independent company by officially appointing former News Corp. executive Michael Lang as CEO. Lang's appointment is no surprise, as it was widely reported during the negotiations.
Lang makes an interesting choice for CEO for a number of reasons. While at News Corp., he worked in business development with an emphasis on digital media, including the video website Hulu.com. That experience will greatly shape his new goals at Miramax, namely to turn the company's extensive back catalog of films into a cash cow.
According to the LA Times article, Miramax is negotiating with Google to show some of its movies on YouTube (an idea that we've discussed here at Screen Rant before) and also has plans to build out its website as a destination to watch movies. A Miramax cable channel may also be in the works.
Over its 31 year history, Miramax has produced some pretty significant films, so there's definitely value in the company's back catalog, but in a world where viewers have dozens of choices of entertainment, will Lang be able to make audiences turn to Miramax?
In celebration of Miramax's new life, here are some fun facts about the company's famous film library.
- The company's most successful film was Chicago. Not only did it gross over $300 million, but it also won the Best Picture Academy Award for 2002.
- Miramax helped give several important filmmakers their start. The company produced and co-distributed Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (along with several other QT films). It also released Kevin Smith's decade-defining indie film, Clerks, and Jon Favreau's debut as a screenwriter, Swingers.
- In addition to Chicago, Miramax released several other Best Picture winners including The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, and No Country for Old Men.
Source: LA Times