September 4, 2009
I appear to be in the minority as I kind of liked "Halloween II" (review coming soon). But apparently the box office of the film was so below expectations, that it may have killed Dimension Films, Deadline Hollywood is reporting. The legendary Weinstein Bros. company, which released the "Scream" films, "Halloween H20" and innumerable direct-to-video horror films (not to mention "Grindhouse") has apparently shut down its Hong Kong division and has its UK office down to one person.
Writes Nikki Finkie at Deadline Hollywood:
I'm told about 10 people were axed this week at The Weinstein Company. Its Hong Kong office is closing. And its UK office will be down to one person. Even though Inglourious Basterds has been doing better than expected at the box office, TWC still has to share the worldwide revenues 50-50 with Universal. At one point, Uni was nervous whether The Weinstein Company even had the $30M necessary to adequately release IBdomestically. Because TWC had depleted all its cash reserves, taken out a $75M bridge loan from Ziff Brothers Investment, and put all of its other movie releases on hold. True, Basterds gave Quentin Tarantino his biggest opening ever, thus erasing Harv’s fears this would be a Grindhouse-like flop. But Basterds had a negative cost of $72M and a humongous first-dollar gross participation — as much as 25% — for Tarantino and Brad Pitt.
Then there's The Weinstein Company’s release of its 100%–owned Halloween II one week later. The first in the Rob Zombie rebooted franchise opened with a solid $26.3M weekend back on August 31, 2007 -- promising a newly invigorated franchise. Didn't happen. Last weekend, Zombie's fan-repelling Halloween II managed only a $16.3M debut weekend, which was a huge disappointment. Not just to Harv, but to others. Because several TWC filmmakers were told that the Weinsteins have to see how Halloween II opens before they decide how many movies they can open for the rest of 2009.
If what Finkie is writing is true, it's very bad news for horror fans. "Grindhouse" was a classic and Dimension has been putting out important horror films for more than a decade. The "Prophecy" franchise, "Hellraiser" franchise, "Halloween" franchise all live here.
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