It is easily — and understandably — overlooked that amid the seismic fallout from the sexual-assault allegations made against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, his fall from grace coincided with the Weinstein Company suffering a prolonged creative and commercial slump.
Following an acrimonious split between Weinstein’s previous production company Miramax and its owner, the Walt Disney Co. DIS, -1.05% Harvey Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein formed the Weinstein Company in 2005.
Despite a desperate plea to leading film executives to lobby the Weinstein Company board members, Harvey Weinstein was fired from the company on Sunday night following public statements of sexual harassment and assault made by Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Asia Argento, among many others, to the New York Times and the New Yorker.
While the Weinstein Company released Oscar-winning hits such as “The King’s Speech” and “The Artist,” the studio failed to match the consistent success the brothers achieved at Miramax, where they oversaw movies such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Good Will Hunting” and “Chicago.”
The graph below details the Weinstein Company’s highest-earning movie at the U.S. box office for each year during the last decade. It shows that the Weinstein Company’s most commercially successful film each year has declined in box office revenue since 2013.
The company, which is now in the process of changing its name, has moved into TV in the last few years with mixed success. But the Weinstein Company’s collaborations with Apple AAPL, +0.10% and Amazon AMZN, +0.65% are now under threat following the assault allegations.
Weinstein was known for being a consummate Oscar campaigner, most notably masterminding the campaign for Miramax’s “Shakespeare in Love” to upset Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan” and win the 1999 Academy Award for Best Picture.
Yet their recent track record was mediocre with Oscar contenders “The Founder,” “August: Osage County” and “The Hateful Eight” all critically and commercially misfiring. Despite Weinstein pulling out all the stops in November 2016 for the drama “Lion,” including Bill Clinton’s first public appearance following Hillary Clinton’s election defeat at the movie’s New York premiere, the film ultimately failed to win any Oscars.
The source added that Weinstein maintained excellent creative relationships with some stars including Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman and Helen Mirren. “I remember Harvey passionately arguing that in [2011 drama] ‘My Week With Marilyn,’ Michelle Williams’ first scene as Marilyn Monroe needed to be a big show-stopping dance number,” the source said. “Everybody else thought it was a bad idea but Harvey got his way and he was dead right. But he definitely lost his focus and it’s now all too clear why.”
Too often in recent times, the drama of the Weinstein Company’s fortunes was more riveting off-screen. The New York premiere of “Carol” starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, in November 2015, was overshadowed by concurrent layoffs at the Weinstein Company that saw 50 employees leave the next day. More recently, Harvey Weinstein defended the company’s recent flop, “Tulip Fever.”
It has fallen to his brother Bob Weinstein, who has taken over as head of the Weinstein Company, to see if he can salvage the company’s fortunes. A source, who worked on several Weinstein Company movies, said relations between the two brothers had become strained to the extent they hadn’t spoken to each other for the past 18 months.
A spokesperson for the Weinstein Company declined to comment.