EXCLUSIVE: In a major shakeup at Miramax, CEO Bill Block will exit the company this week, a move that will come as soon as Tuesday when his contract expires. It does not look like there was much if any negotiation on a new deal for Block, which raises questions of exactly which areas the multi-faceted company will lean into.
Block’s exit comes at a time when he has been a catalyst for a large amount of film business. Block had been appointed CEO in 2017.
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Owned 51% by beIN, and 49% by Paramount Global, Miramax had transformed from the days when its value resided in the film library built back in the day by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. It has become a prolific generator of original projects, with some based on library IP. Back when Block was appointed, the company had $150 million in debt and a high overhead that was pared by moves that included a 30% staff reduction. According to internal documents viewed by Deadline, Miramax has doubled revenues and nearly quintupled profits since 2017 under Block’s leadership.
The first film greenlit under Block was the successful relaunch of Halloween, and the subsequent output included I, Tonya and the Guy Ritchie-directed films The Gentlemen, Operation Fortune and Wrath of Man.
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Block was in Telluride and Toronto for the launch of The Holdovers, the comedy that reunites director Alexander Payne with his Sideways star Paul Giamatti in a pic that was acquired by Focus Features for a record sum at the Toronto Film Festival.
Upcoming for Miramax is the David Ayer-directed franchise play The Beekeeper with Jason Statham. And for Oscar season 2024 there is Here, an adaptation of the Richard McGuire novel that Sony will distribute. That film amounts to a Forrest Gump reteam of director Robert Zemeckis, screenwriter Eric Roth, Tom Hanks and Robin Wright. There are other projects taking shape.
On the TV side, Miramax Television landed three on-air series during the past three years — more than the company had produced in the previous decade: Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen at Netflix, Project Greenlight with Issa Rae at Max and The Turkish Detective at Paramount.
Mining the indie studio’s library of IP has been a main objective with series in development based on such Miramax movies as Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Gangs of New York, Chocolat, The English Patient and Prêt-à-Porter, in addition to upcoming series adaptation of The Gentlemen and the Project Greenlight revival and He’s All That, the series remake of the Miramax library title She’s All That, that starred TikTok breakout Addison Rae.
What does this mean for the future direction of Miramax? We’ve heard the company will focus more on the distribution of the library and projects drawn from that IP. Block certainly did a strong enough job that he is likely to resurface soon. Attempts to reach Miramax were unavailing.
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