Thursday, 12 February 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #231: Pulling Over Push?

Well, one thing is for certain, some lawyers are going to get paid, though I don't know where Harvey Weinstein is going to get the money for it.

Maybe I should explain for those folks too lazy to click this link.

You see, during the recent Sundance Festival a film called Push (not the one with the psychic Dakota Fanning) won awards, critical praise, and the endorsement of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. The Weinstein Company wanted it, Lionsgate wanted it, and a company called Cinetic was contracted to broker some sort of deal where either one would land the film, or they would share it.

Weinstein claims that Cinetic sent him an e-mail claiming that they had agreed to go with TWC, but then signed a contract with Lionsgate. Now Harvey Weinstein is suing everybody, and Lionsgate is suing back.

Since we're talking about an urban drama that the people who liked it described as extremely well made, but bleak, depressing and a very hard sell to ticketbuyers, the only folks that will probably make money on
Push will be the lawyers.

But it does raise a question.

Why was The Weinstein Company even in the running?

Think about it for a second.

TWC doesn't have MGM to distribute their films anymore, there were just too many jokers in that deck, and that's just counting the films that TWC
actually released. The company is notorious for sitting on movies, sometimes for years, or dumping it in one theatre through their 3rd Rail distribution arm. Even Harvey's pet project, the pederast Nazi Oscar-bait flick The Reader has made around the same amount in ticket sales in its entire pre-Oscar run that Paul Blart: Mall Cop made in its opening weekend.

It seems obvious to me that TWC was more interested in winning the movie than in actually winning
with the movie.

Does that make any sense?

Allow me to explain.

You see, TWC is almost completely driven by the Ego Drive. Back in the glory days of Miramax, there was some balance between the Ego Drive and the Money Drive, leading to profitable, and award winning movies, but now Ego's in the driver's seat, while Money doesn't even seem to be in the car anymore. Probably because it was other people's money anyway.

I believe that Harvey Weinstein is more interested in adding another Sundance Award winner notch on his cinematic bedpost, than doing anything with the film that might reward the filmmakers and the investors who actually made the damn thing. And any filmmaker
who doesn't know that by now, probably shouldn't be in the movie biz.

At least Lionsgate will at least try to make something from the film, they don't have a choice right now, it's a matter of survival for them.

I guess you can figure out who I'm rooting for right in this fight. I'm rooting for the people who made Push, and hope their film gets the release they deserve.

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