CATEGORIES Independent, Celebrities and Controversy, Distribution, The Weinstein Co., Cinematical Indie, Movie News, CinematicalHere are some of the words Harvey Weinstein is using to describe his critics: jealous; disgruntled; has-been. The first two, you may have assumed, refer to the many people criticizing the ability and financial stability of The Weinstein Co. The latter, though, is directed at an internationally respected filmmaker, Luc Besson. The comment was in response to Besson's claim that TWC mishandled the American release of his animated film Arthur and the Invisibles. Weinstein says he'll give the "has-been" $1 million if he can prove that Arthur actually cost $85 million, as Besson claims. So, once again, a film industry dispute turns into a messy blame game, battled with egos rather than brains (and here, I thought Weinstein actually believed Arthur failed because audiences are not used to films that feature both animation and live-action).
But Weinstein could never be personally apologetic for his company's failures. Then he wouldn't be Harvey Weinstein. And it has become a regular thing for him to tell reporters, such as Variety's Anne Thompson, how everyone else is wrong about The Weinstein Co. Despite the obvious, which has been easily noticed by all of us following the film business, Weinstein continues to claim that TWC is doing just fine. Sure, most criticisms are speculative, but mostly they are reasonably so. According to Thompson, rumors are floating around that the Weinstein brothers could lose TWC to its investors; either they will be forced to sell the company or merge with a studio. She also questions TWC's chance for independent success given that even Dreamworks was unable to survive on its own.
Still, Weinstein feels secure in the future of TWC, stating to Thompson that the only thing it's missing is a "glamorous theatrical hit." And he seems hopeful about this summer's release of SiCKO, as well as next year's slate of in-house productions like The Great Debaters, Crossing Over and The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. According to Weinstein, anyone who is doubtful about TWC making it is either a jealous competitor, probably some exec just trying to look cool, or a disgruntled former employee. Considering Weinstein has already surprised me once this year, with his almost personally apologetic reaction to the disappointment of Grindhouse ("We obviously didn't do it that well."; "We didn't educate the South or Midwest."; "We missed the boat." -italics mine), I will just have to be open-minded about the possibility of him turning TWC's reputation around.