Wracked by allegations Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed and assaulted female employees and actresses for nearly 30 years, the independent film studio Weinstein Co. LLC is now considering a sale of the company.
The studio on Oct. 16 said it is exploring a sale of all or some of its assets to Colony Capital, the global private equity arm of Colony NorthStar Inc. In addition, in the immediate term, Colony is providing a capital infusion that Weinstein board member Tarak Ben Ammar said in a statement will "help stabilize the company's current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners." The surviving stakeholders in The Weinstein Co. hope such a sale, which could be accompanied by a name change, will help the studio recover from a scandal that is already affecting its business, causing partners such as Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. to cancel projects.
What will Colony Capital get for its investment? The Weinstein Co. focuses on low- and middle-budget titles, yielding mixed results at the box office. The company's most profitable film to date was 2010's "The King's Speech," a critically acclaimed success about England's King George VI, who ascended to the throne despite a crippling speech impediment. That title cost just $15.3 million in production, and it went on to collect $579.3 million in total revenue for net profit of $214.2 million and a profit margin of 37.0% after promotions and other expenses.
The studio was back in the Hollywood press in 2012 for "Silver Linings Playbook," another acclaimed indie title starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. The studio's fourth-most profitable title, "Playbook" left theaters with net profits of just $67.1 million after $278.3 million in total revenue. However, given a production cost of just $21.4 million, the title managed a solid 24.1% margin.
"Django Unchained" was one of the studios most expensive titles, running $102.4 million in production, and it exited with $102.6 million net profit and a margin of 18.7%.
The Weinstein Co.'s top 10 titles saw an average domestic gross of $96.5 million, leading to an average profit margin of 23.4%. Those films brought in total net profit of $838.3 million.
Its 10 least profitable films — including flops like "Vampire Academy," "Nine" and "Burnt" — lost the company $748.6 million in box office profits. On average, those titles grossed just $11.7 million domestically and exited with an average profit loss margin of 180.8%.
The studio has three more releases on its slate for 2017, then four releases set for 2018 release, according to Box Office Mojo, including "Amityville: The Awakening," "Polaroid," "The Current War" and "Paddington 2." The studio had not yet released production budgets for those titles. The studio has 22 titles set for release or under production on Box Office Mojo.