Disney/Weinstein Partnership Maxed Out

As Disney tries to resume talks with animation powerhouse Pixar, the studio says goodbye to Miramax co-chairmen Bob and Harvey Weinstein. It was announced yesterday evening that the entities have reached a mutual agreement to dissolve their lucrative partnership, which has spawned a number of hit films including Robert Rodriquez’s CG-laden Spy Kids trilogy.

Under the Weinsteins, Miramax also co-produced the animated direct-to-video Bionicle features and acquired the anime series Tokyo Pig. Other acquisitions include a number of CG movies such as Tundra Prods.’ Search for Santa and Modern Cartoons’ The Great North Pole Elf Strike. The studio also teamed with a legendary musician to release Paul McCartney: The Music and Animation Collection on DVD.

The Weinsteins will remain non-exclusive co-chairs of Miramax through Sept. 30, completing projects currently in production and overseeing the marketing and distribution of upcoming Miramax and Dimension releases. Since they are giving up the Miramax banner, which is a blending of their parents’ first names, the brothers are developing a new company for themselves. The Dimension label will go with them as well.

Through their new company, the Weinsteins will reportedly continue to deal with Walt Disney Studios, potentially collaborating on as many as 25 projects including Spy Kids sequels. The entities also plan to co-finance the production and distribution of original films.

Since being acquired by The Walt Disney Co. in 1993, Miramax Films have won 53 Oscars, including three for Best Picture (The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love and Chicago). Other big awards winners are The Aviator, Finding Neverland, Gangs of New York, In the Bedroom, Chocolat, Shakespeare In Love, Life Is Beautiful, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction.