In a move consistent with Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger’s strategy to emphasize family and “branded” films, Miramax’s (a division of the Disney Company) workforce has been cut by 70% and it has been limited to only 3 releases a year.
Miramax was started in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein and has since specialized in so-called independent films. Recently, the industry has been reigning in this type of picture as they typically do not give the type of financial returns company investors desire. Many organizations have just completely eliminated their independent film divisions.
For its part, Miramax’s recent releases have not done well. “Extract,” “Cheri,” and the current release “The Boys Are Back,” have all had disappointing box office sales.
In the restructuring, the company will downsize to only 20 employees and its marketing, distribution and administrative functions will now be handled by the parent company. At one point, Miramax employed over 500 people.
“This restructuring maximizes operating efficiencies and provides significant cost savings while allowing Miramax to focus on its greatest strength: the creation of high-quality entertainment,” said Walt Disney Studios President Alan Bergman in a statement.
All of this is in line with the direction Iger plans to take the company of offering around a dozen films a year that are more family oriented and that can easily be promoted and utilized by other divisions such as the Disney Parks and merchandising. In this way, the company expects to get a bigger bang for its buck.