By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Battsek Out At Miramax
Daniel was well liked and rather effective.
I don’t know. The New Disney is really, really not going to be The Old Disney… not even The New Old Disney.
It as though Bob Iger, who for years has seemed to be playing a very, very smart game of chess in reestablishing what Eisner and Katzenberg had built after they had allowed it to overmature and ripen into too many personal vendettas and self-reflections, has suddenly gotten God and is going to try to turn Disney 3.0 into a hard-driving future-focused leader instead of being a solid, sleepy, history-considering village.
There is something honorable about Iger and his new right-hand, Rich Ross, knowing their intent well enough to not bother keeping Miramax alive as anything much more than a non-theatrical brand. (That’s what Battsek’s exit suggests… and it also suggests more to come.) But there is also something a little bit scary about a company like this galloping so intensely and almost without any restraint towards an uncertain future.
I’ve been watching the well-curated, tremendous 4-disc Blu-ray packages of Up and Monsters. Inc. and it struck me yesterday just how different the Disney brand may be soon… how many more icons will be placed in the background of The Castle in years to come.
The only good thing about this news is that it will create an even greater vacuum in the art house distribution world… and no matter how tough things are, nature abhors a vacuum. But as small as a Miramax business should be at a company like D3.0, not having one is just not smart. The future of the film business is the ability to play to ALL fields, as the revenues for all filmed entertainment gets smaller. Studios that throw away $10 million a year here and $10 million a year there are setting themselves up for dangerous waters ahead. Take a look at the history of the 1960s in the business. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.