At the end of July I wrote a post titled "The Miramax Fight is Over: Tutor Takes the Prize." Oh, what hopeful words. After a long ordeal where the Weinsteins tried to buy back their company, and every rich dude on the block contemplated a movie studio purchase, it seemed like Disney's sale of Miramax was finally complete. No more out-of-left-field twists like Rob Lowe, Studio Head. But not so fast. Yet again, Miramax is facing monetary issues, but this time it's not the Weinsteins losing investors.
Ron Tutor and Colony Capital have lost two big money-givers -- James Robinson of Morgan Creek Productions, and Jerome Swartz, a retired engineer and philanthropist.
LA Times' Company Town reports that Tutor has lost $75 - $100 million of the $600 million purchase price from Robinson's departure (plus Morgan Creek selling Miramax films overseas), plus another $25 to $50 million from Swartz. Rumors say that Robinson left the deal because of managerial control. He expected to be an equal partner (not too surprising if he was personally shelling out a sixth of the cost, and the same amount as Tutor and Colony), which Tutor and Colony didn't agree with, and the group couldn't decide how long Morgan Creek would handle foreign distribution. However, this doesn't look to be the end of the deal. Tutor says: "We're moving ahead and if it means putting up more of our money or finding more investors, we're going to close." Like Gilliam, the plans keep going and going.
Between pissing off investors to maintain all control, and requiring producers on Nailed to halve their pay to make up for David Bergstein's idiocy, and accepting David O. Russell's departure, I imagine we'll see a lot more Hollywood drama in Miramax's future with Tutor holding the reigns. Will his hardball help the studio, or make it a big mess? If the latter happens, maybe the Weinsteins will finally their their company back ... cheap.