Politics
As he investigates Trump's aides, special counsel's record shows surprising flaws

Film and TV company Miramax lays off 20 staffers in ongoing restructuring

Miramax, the onetime indie film powerhouse founded by the Weinstein brothers, has laid off 20 employees in a second round of downsizing this year under a new chief executive.

The Santa Monica film and television company cut executives in the sales and finance departments, as well as workers in support roles, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who was not authorized to comment publicly.

A spokeswoman for the company, now owned by Qatari broadcaster BeIN Media Group, confirmed the staff reductions but declined further comment.

The layoffs come after the company terminated about 25 staffers in May — a move that occurred weeks after veteran film producer Bill Block was appointed chief executive of the then roughly 100-employee operation.

“After careful consideration and consultation with the board, I have decided to reorganize the team at Miramax,” said Block in a statement at the time. “This reorganization will allow me to lead a streamlined Miramax to grow in film, television and the licensing of our impressive library.”

Now on its third owner in a decade, Miramax carries on in a vastly diminished form from the company it was in its heyday, when co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein were producing Academy Award-winning films including “Shakespeare in Love” and major hits such as “Chicago,” which grossed more than $300 million worldwide.

The sharp-elbowed brothers, who started Miramax in 1979 and named it after their parents Max and Miriam, sold the production house to Walt Disney Co. in 1993. They left Miramax 12 years later and now run an eponymous film and television company.

Disney sold Miramax to a group of investors led by private equity firm Colony Capital and construction magnate Ronald Tutor for $660 million in 2010. The Weinsteins unsuccessfully attempted to buy back the company before it was sold to the Colony group, but they did get a reunion of sorts in 2013, when their firm agreed to a co-production and co-distribution agreement with Miramax that aimed to mine the company’s library of movies.

Miramax has a library of more than 700 titles that includes acclaimed films such as “The English Patient,” and has cut deals with digital players such as Netflix and Hulu to carry its content.

But the company is no longer the major moviemaking concern it once was, and some of the company’s recent pictures, such as 2016’s “Bad Santa 2,” have struggled at the box office.

Doha-based BeIN, which operates TV channels across several continents, bought Miramax in March 2016 for an undisclosed sum. When Block, producer of the 2016 hit “Bad Moms,” was hired a little more than a year later, BeIN Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in a statement that Miramax was committed to expanding production and acquisitions in film and television.

“Bill’s strong leadership will surely lead Miramax successfully into the future,” Al-Khelaifi said.

Times staff writer Stephen Battaglio contributed to this report.

daniel.miller@latimes.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller


UPDATES:

3:05 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details.

It was originally published at 12:50 p.m.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
82°