Earlier today, I read on Kevin Smith’s twitter about the downsizing of Miramax.
“It’s like hearing the house you grew up in has burned to the ground: http://tinyurl.com/yexhn85 I’ve now watched Miramax die twice. *sigh*”
According to THR, Miramax president, Daniel Battsek is stepping down from the film division as of January 2010.
Disney had voiced plans about trimming the size of Miramax. Which is probably why many people aren’t very surprised by this announcement.
“With the change in direction at Miramax, we have reached a mutual agreement with Daniel Battsek that he will leave his post as president, effective January 2010,” Ross said. “During his 18 years of service, he has brought some prestigious and award-winning films to the studio, from ‘Calendar Girls’ to ‘The Queen’ to ‘No Country for Old Men.’ We wish Daniel the very best in his future endeavors.”
The studio is not just losing dead weight, it’s starving itself. The plans are to go down to a skeleton crew of 20 staffers. Miramax will now only put out three films annually.
Many wonder if this signals the death of indie films. While I highly doubt that, it is hard for studios to argue about investing in an indie film when many of the popular movies in the theater are formulaic and seem to always earn a fortune. The indie scene may have taken a blow with this announcement, but it’s stronger than major film companies think.