While I absolutely do not care what happens to the former owner of Miramax, I absolutely do care about the titles in the Miramax library and where they will live. The studio has been under ownership of beIN Media since 2016 but has suffered some dings to its reputation and legacy since the scandal around Harvey Weinstein, who co-founded the studio with his brother Bob Weinstein in 1979, broke in 2017.
Per Variety, talks were being had between Miramax owner beIN Media and the prospective buying partners of Viacom and Paramount Pictures. Insiders claimed to Variety that talks had suddenly been called off earlier this week with Viacom and Paramount apparently hitting the pause button through a letter stating their intentions to exit negotiations to acquire the Miramax library. Miramax reps have yet to release a statement nor have any specifics about Viacom and Paramount’s cold feet been made public. A Variety source claims Viacom and Paramount were growing restless by the deal talks dragging on for months and the terms of the deal, but that information has yet to be backed up with any kind of official statement. As of September, the Miramax library was reportedly valued at $100 million although Deadline’s own current update on the deal states the library may have a valuation closer to $325 million.
The Miramax library is a hefty, valuable asset, especially in a current industry climate where studios look to reinvent their IP in new ways and even consider re-crafting past hits into streamer-friendly movies and TV shows. Miramax has one of the largest libraries held by a studio, with 700 titles housed under the once-prosperous name. Among those titles included acclaimed movies like Shakespeare in Love, Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Good Will Hunting, and The English Patient. Considering the Miramax library includes more than a few Oscar-winners, it’s been an attractive acquisition, especially for streamers old and new looking to bulk up their own respective libraries and make them even more attractive to prospective subscribers.
It’s unclear if Viacom and Paramount will return to the negotiations table with beIN Media, although Variety’s report remains optimistic. For now, Miramax’s future is still a bit murky.