Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:45 pm
27th January 2010
Miramax will close its doors in New York and Los Angeles today after 31 years of producing and distributing movies.
The studio, which was founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, was behind Oscar winners such as Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Shakespeare In Love. The firm was sold to Disney in 1993 and the Weinsteins later left to form The Weinstein Company in 2005.
The Miramax name was taken from the forenames of the Weinsteins' parents, Max and Miriam.
"I'm feeling very nostalgic right now," Harvey Weinstein told The Wrap. "I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob's watch will live on as well as the fantastic films made under the direction of Daniel Battsek. Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organisation and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry."
80 people are expected to lose their jobs when Miramax closes, while the six movies the company has awaiting distribution - including Keira Knightley's Last Night, and Helen Mirren's The Debt - will be shelved or put out on a limited release.
Disney to sell Miramax remainder?
Disney has revealed that the company is hoping to divest itself entirely from its Miramax film unit.
According to Reuters, selling off the remainder of Miramax could bring in $700m (£438m) for the corporation. Possible buyers include Twilight's studio Summit Entertainment, private equity groups and at least one other independent studio.
Included in the sale would be the Miramax name and its 700-film library, which contains such titles as Clerks, Shakespeare in Love and Good Will Hunting.
Analysts estimate that the Miramax library brings in more than $300m (£188m) in DVD and television revenue annually, but Disney has never disclosed that figure.