Thursday, 8 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #550: Signs of Hope?

Welcome to the show folks...

Today, I'm going to talk about some signs of hope in what goes on backstage in this crazy business we call show.


But it looks like David Bergstein has vanished from the negotiations between Disney and Ron Tutor's partnership's bid for Miramax, replaced by former Disney CFO Richard Nanula.

What happened to Bergstein?

My guesses are:

1. Alien Abduction.

2. Went sailing in the Bermuda Triangle.

3. Swallowed by the planet during recent LA Earthquake.

4. Slipped into an alternate universe where he isn't being sued by dozens of people, companies, and guilds, and decided to stay. Only to be sacrificed by cyborg druids.

5. Resigned to work on Lindsay Lohan's appeal.

6. Was cornered in a dark alley by angry creditors.

But enough silliness. Let's get serious, okay, semi serious, there are two potentially crippling problems facing the Tutor led consortium. They are:

1. Disney.

2. The Weinstein Brothers.

Disney's corporate culture, one that demands total and complete dominance, may balk at selling Miramax to someone that might actually do something productive with it. They don't like competition, and like competition springing from something they failed at even less. So they might just put the screws to the negotiations, or to the buyers to make sure nothing gets done with Miramax that might threaten their market share.

The next problem are the Weinstein Brothers. They started it, they built it up, sold it to Disney, and then almost destroyed it before being ousted. They still own a piece of several of Miramax's key franchises, and threaten to do everything they can to make the new owners as unhappy as possible. They'll file lawsuits in every court they can, claiming every possibly tort they can, and do everything they can to make the new owners pay through their asses for any sequels, remakes or reboots.

So it's up to you if this is a sign of hope, or just business as usual.

May God have mercy on the buyers, because Harvey won't.


Don Johnson, star of
Miami Vice and Nash Bridges, won $23 million from Nash Bridges production company Rysher Entertainment. Meanwhile Celador productions, the folks behind Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and even Slumdog Millionaire won $275 million from Disney/ABC over their handling of the American version.

Now part of me says "Hey! Great, stick it to those bastards!" but another part of me, the hyper-logical part, says, don't count your chickens before the appeals court is done.

Because it's not enough to win such a lawsuit
against a company. You have to survive the years, if not decades of appeals, designed to completely bankrupt you financially, emotionally, and physically, before you see one thin dime of the money the court deemed your due.

Remember, to the corporations, extending these legal fights cost pocket change, while individuals can easily go completely broke really fast. Usually the only winners are the lawyers.

Now Celador, a sub-division of the Sony empire, has the best chance of survival, and even victory. They have the deep pockets and resources for a long protracted appeal fight, plus the prize is so big, that Disney/ABC may be willing to settle to make it go away for an amount that will appease Celador and allow Disney honcho Iger look tough.

Johnson, on the other hand, is going to have a long, expensive fight ahead of him. I wish him good luck, and while it was a good sign that he won this battle, he has a long way to go before he wins the war.


  1. Hey Dave, Fox News is on, go get your talking points like a good little teabagger."

    Yeah because we’re so worried what Hollywood haters think… WHO CARES?"

    Michael Moore's New Job: Oscar Board Member

  2. Um, Who is Dave?

    And what does all that have to do with sale of Miramax and those two lawsuits?