Bob Weinstein: ‘Business Is Continuing as Usual’ at The Weinstein Company
Amid reports that The Weinstein Company will either be sold or shut down following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Bob Weinstein says that this is not the case and that their business is continuing as usual.
On Friday afternoon, The Wall Street Journal reported that The Weinstein Company is unlikely to continue as an independent entity and that it is exploring either being sold or being shut down. According to the Journal, the Weinstein Company’s board has been in talks with potential buyers over the past week.
But Bob Weinstein, brother of Harvey Weinstein and head of The Weinstein Company, soon put out a statement denying this report.
“Our banks, partners and shareholders are fully supportive of our company and it is untrue that the company or board is exploring a sale or shutdown of the company,” he said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Weinstein then listed off three upcoming films of The Weinstein Company’s that it expects to be successes.
“Polaroid is moving forward as planned with a release date of November 22 followed by Paddington 2 on January 12,” Weinstein said. “The first Paddington grossed over $75 million and we expect even greater success for Paddington 2. Test screening scores are through the roof. War with Grandpa starring Robert De Niro is scheduled for February 23, 2018. Business is continuing as usual as the company moves ahead.”
Polaroid is a horror film that is being distributed by Dimension Films, which is owned by The Weinstein Company. The other two films Bob Weinstein mentions, Paddington and War with Grandpa, are being distributed by The Weinstein Company itself, though it remains to be seen how this ongoing scandal will affect those films’ box office take. In his statement, Bob Weinstein did not mention The Current War, a Benedict Cumberbatch movie about Thomas Edison that was to be the film that The Weinstein Company pushed at the Oscars this year. It is set for a release in November.
Harvey Weinstein’s name is being removed from all upcoming Weinstein Company projects. The company is also rumored to be changing its name so as not to be associated with a man at the center of a major sexual harassment scandal. Despite this, there has been a lot of discussion over the past week about The Weinstein Company’s future looking quite dire, with Deadline recently speaking with a number of agents who expressed that they would not want to work with the studio anymore. The headline for this Deadline piece described the company as being near the brink.
“Agents did not want to be on record, but reactions ranged from not wanting to risk the wrath of clients in the event of more fallout by putting them into TWC projects, and others said that if there was evidence of Weinstein benefiting directly or indirectly in projects, the agencies wanted no part of it,” Deadline reported. “They felt even a re-branded company will carry a tarnish, and hoped that projects would be sold off.”
CNN also reported on Friday that there is complete and utter chaos within The Weinstein Company, with employees speaking about resigning and comparing it to being aboard the Titanic. They also reported that Bob Weinstein and president David Glasser “could be the next out the door.”
Already some projects that The Weinstein Company had in the works are beginning to fall apart. The studio was to distribute an adaptation of the Broadway show In the Heights, but now Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin Manuel-Miranda are asking for the rights back, according to ABC News. Amazon Studios is also reconsidering its plans to produce two high-budget TV series with The Weinstein Company, one from Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner and one from Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell.
“We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co.,” Amazon Entertainment Vice President of Communications Craig Berman told The Hollywood Reporter.