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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Weinsteins step down from Miramax
Harvey Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein has had an acrimonious relationship with Disney
Miramax founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein have agreed to step down as co-chief executives of the Disney-owned film production unit after 25 years.

The brothers - behind hits such as Chicago - will leave in September, but will continue to make films for Disney through new company The Weinstein Co.

The move comes after years of reported tension between the Weinsteins and outgoing Disney boss Michael Eisner.

Last year Harvey Weinstein clashed with Mr Eisner over Fahrenheit 9/11.

Disney refused to release Michael Moore's anti-Bush film.

DVD rights

The Weinsteins are to give up their positions as co-chief executives of Miramax, but will stay on as co-chairmen of the company, completing current projects and overseeing marketing and distribution.

Miramax Films and its catalogue of 550 films - which include pictures such as The English Patient, Cold Mountain and Scary Movie - will stay with Disney.

The Weinsteins and Disney have agreed to work together on sequels to the films Spy Kids and Scary Movie, as well as another 25 projects.

But The Weinstein Co will produce films by acclaimed directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, both of whom have long working relationships with the Weinsteins.

Maybe the whole chapter hasn't been written on that; maybe it has
Harvey Weinstein, Miramax co-founder

Disney acquired Miramax - named after the Weinstein's parents Miriam and Max - in 1993 for between $70m (37m) and $80m (42.5m).

In 2005, the company has been valued at around $2bn (1.06bn), according to Harvey Weinstein.

Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook called the Weinstein brothers "two of the most creative and passionate" executives in the movies.

Harvey Weinstein said giving up a company named after his parents had been "the toughest part of the entire negotiation".

"Maybe the whole chapter hasn't been written on that, maybe it has," he said.

The Weinsteins will retain control of the Dimension label, which has produced a raft of films aimed at teenagers and children, including the Scream franchise.

Harvey Weinstein said the brothers' new company would be "a fully integrated media company" with broadcasting, film distribution and internet divisions.

Mr Eisner will be succeeded by Bob Iger in September.

Why the Weinsteins have agreed to step-down

Weinsteins buy Moore movie rights
29 May 04 |  Entertainment
Disney strikes Moore movie deal
13 May 04 |  Entertainment
Cold Mountain timing 'lost Oscar'
02 Feb 04 |  Entertainment

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