Happy Trails, Miramax: 1979-2010

The Wrap is reporting that Disney will be closing the New York and Los Angeles offices of Miramax Films. Eighty workers will join the unemployment ranks.

Miramax still has six movies that await distribution, including Last Night, The Debt and The Tempest. Look for these to get low-end theatrical releases or go direct-to-DVD.

The studio was founded in 1979 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. Before it was acquired by Disney in 1993, it was the leader in distributing independent cinema. Twelve years after being with Disney, the Weinsteins left and founded The Weinstein Company.

When asked about the announcement, Harvey Weinstein acknowledged that he was feeling nostalgic about the movies he and his brother ushered to theaters. “I know the movies made on my and my brother Bob’s watch will live on as well as the fantastic films made under the direction of Daniel Battsek. Miramax has some brilliant people working within the organization and I know they will go on to do great things in the industry.”

Working as an independent production arm of Disney, Miramax released such films as Good Will Hunting, Life is Beautiful, Cop Land, Shakespeare in Love and was the American distributor of Princess Mononoke.

The Weinsteins gave writer-directors like Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith an outlet to allow their creativity to flow with productions like Pulp Fiction, Clerks, Chasing Amy and Jackie Brown. Tarantino and Smith would follow the Weinsteins once the brothers bolted from Disney to start a new company.

After the Weinsteins departed, Miramax distributed films like the international hit Hero with Jet Li, Infernal Affairs, and Renaissance. The studio also outputted films like The Hoax, The Queen, Gone Baby Gone, Doubt, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Adventureland and most recently The Boys are Back.

Check here for a complete listing from Miramax Films.

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