Friday, 9 April 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #485: Tales of Brotherly Brotherliness

Welcome to the show folks...tonight, 1 Blog, 2 Stories, 3 Sets of Brothers!


There have been some developments in the ongoing sale of 90s indie powerhouse Miramax Films. From what I've been able to gather there are three major bidders. One is silly, two are serious, and one is very serious.

SILLY: Pangea Media, which is operated by David Bergstein.

WHY IT'S SILLY: David Bergstein is currently being sued by almost every single person, company, union, and financial institution he has ever done business with over the bankruptcy of his complicated web pf production and distribution companies. He's also being accused of malfeasance, misappropriation, and just about anything else his creditors can find, and they, and their lawyers and forensic accountants, will come down on any attempted deal like the wrath of an angry deity.

WHY IS DISNEY PAYING ATTENTION: It's either because Bergstein's legendary skill as a smooth talker are even better than we think, or the Disney exec handling this auction just wants to get as many in the list, whether they are real bids or not.

SERIOUS: Harvey & Bob Weinstein, making a play to get their hands back on the company they founded, built, and almost destroyed.

WHY IS IT SERIOUS: The Weinstein's have the support of billionaire Ron Burkle, who has obviously fallen under the influence of Harvey's notorious Hypno-Coin.

WHY IS DISNEY PAYING ATTENTION: If the Bros. Weinstein didn't have Burkle and the other investors backing their bid, they'd be just a filler name like Bergstein. Remember, their own company TWC is on life-support, and unable to raise the minimum $600 million necessary to make a remotely viable bid.

VERY SERIOUS: Tom & Alec Gores, brothers of Paradigm honcho Sam Gores.

WHY IS IT VERY SERIOUS: Alec & Tom are each billionaires, with track records of buying troubled companies, and either making them part of their growing personal business empires, or selling them for a profit. They have the combined cash for the buy, and the industry connections through their brother uber-agent Sam Gores. And I think it's also interesting to note that they're also looking into buying indie distributor Overture Films, and its related home-video co. Anchor Bay.

Combine Miramax's library & cachet, with Overture's distribution infrastructure, Anchor Bay's home video library and distribution capacity, they've got an integrated mini-major that could compete with Lionsgate and Summit, and literally have it overnight.

Personally, more I read about them, the more I think the Gores Bros. should win this auction. Partly because I think they have a plan to make Miramax a viable company, but mostly because Harvey's inevitable conniption fit over the loss will be clearly visible from space.

So good luck Gores.


This piece just caught my eye. Ridley Scott and his brother Tony, two major league directors and producers, have offered their services to run MGM once its financial future is settled.

Now while it makes me infinitely curious as to how it would turn out, part of me just knows it might not work out. Both Ridley and Tony would have to enforce the sort of budgetary discipline that neither of them have had to face in their careers since they've hit the A-List. So they would either surprise everyone with their management skills, which they might have in spades, or completely implode the company and themselves.

Maybe I can use my hobby in mad science to visit an alternate universe to see what happens? Then again, last time I did it, I ended up being chased by a dinosaur, and by dinosaur, I mean Larry King.

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