Sad news today. Disney has announced that it is closing their Miramax film unit.
Miramax was founded in 1979 by the notorious Weinstein Brothers, Harvey and Bob, and became a huge name in independent film. It helped launch the careers of Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Steven Soderbergh among others, and was responsible for critical and commercial hits such as Pulp Fiction, Shakespeare in Love, Good Will Hunting, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Chicago.
Kevin Smith was quoted as saying "I'm crushed to see it pass into history, because I owe everything I have to Miramax. Without them, I'd still be a New Jersey convenience store register jockey.
In practice, not just in my head."
Disney acquired the distributor in 1993, and the Weinsteins broke off in 2005 and went on the launch the Weinstein Company, where they work today.
After suffering some bombs in recent years, the news doesn't exactly come as a surprise, but it's a shame nonetheless. If nothing else, hopefully the closing of Miramax's doors will make room for newer indie distributors who will continue to blaze the trail that Miramax set.