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Weinstein-Miramax and Eisner-Disney: Clash of the Titans

Published October 20, 2004 in FILM
By Ryan Parsons | Images from Yahoo!
Harvey Weinstein. The giant of Miramax standing in at six feet, ~300 pounds.
Even though this may not be news to the avid film attendee, Miramax Co-Chairman- Harvey Weinstein and Disney Ceo- Michael Eisner have always seemed to clash when it comes to business and making movies. Even with their clash of interests, both sides remained confident as both groups, Miramax and Disney, were making money. Now, with the release of Michael Moore's controversial film, Fahrenheit 9/11, this conflict has escalated to a point that can change the film industry. With Weinstein's contract up in 2005, he may walk from the very company he created, Miramax.

Disputes between Disney-Eisner and Miramax-Weinstein


Dang that Michael Moore, he always seems to be blowing up someone's spot. Well, not entirely, but this is a major factor in the case of Eisner and Weinstein. Eisner claims that he had little knowledge about the production of Fahrenheit 9/11 and stated that it was actually created 'behind his back.' Weinstein and Moore both have responded by saying that Eisner definately knew about Fahrenheit's production and only refused to release it for the benefit of Disney. Or, more importantly, the Disney theme parks.

Normally this situation wouldn't be considered too big of deal, but with Weinstein's contract up for re-newal in 2005 this could get serious. Is Weinstein willing to leave behind Miramax, a company of his very own creation? He named the company by combining his parents' names, Miriam and Max. Besides the conflict, Miramax only did OK this movie season, which also heightens tentions. The film company found most of its success from the Kill Bill series directed by Quinten Tarentino.

My personal belief is that Weinstein will not dare leave Miramax. Situations may also ease if Eisner were to leave Disney, which could happen in 2006 when his contract runs out. Weinstein may find it worth hanging around just for that reason. Harvey's brother and Co-Chairman, Bob Weinstein will also probably hang around with Disney. Not only does Bob have a stake with Miramax but he is also founder of Dimension films. Will Harvey Weinstein leave a company with such family ground? I doubt it.

Brief Note on Michael Eisner


Eisner - knocked some heads to get to the top and create the some of the most successful production companies.
Michael Eisner is known to clash with various executives, writers, actors, and all else that he comes in contact with. Eisner has been known to be confrontational, with an effect of having people leave companies where he worked or once worked. On the other hand, Eisner has quite the impressive portfolio!

Michael Eisner started his path to greatness at NBC. After working for some time, he distributed his own resume out to as many production [and other] companies as he could, claiming that he was disatisfied with NBC. Eisner only found one party interested, ABC. Within ten years Eisner was able to work up from a managerial position to VP of Prime Time Production [1966-1976]. After making success at ABC, he moved onto Paramount. Through his time there, Eisner was able to bring Paramount into the spotlight and the top movie studio. After doing so, he joined Disney to cause similar success there as well. This guy rocks. But lets not say he didn't break a couple of hundred eggs to get there.
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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Images from Yahoo!
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