Rounders

The once-independent Miramax catalog is getting a new school Hollywood makeover. Founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who left the company in 2005 and formed The Weinstein Company, just signed a deal to regain creative control over the Miramax library. Colony Capital purchased it from Disney in 2010, for $660 million. Their first two orders of business will be sequels to Best Picture winner Shakespeare in Love and cult poker film Rounders. They’ll also develop TV series based on Good Will Hunting, Swingers and Flirting with Disaster, and jumpstart development on scripts by Stephen Colbert, Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack. Read much more below. Read More »

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When last we left Mike McDermott he was in a New York City cab, heading down Broadway, on his way to Las Vegas and the World Series of Poker. The year was 1998 and Miramax’s poker movie Rounders, starring Matt Damon and Edward Norton, made a paltry $23 million at the box office. Fortunately for us, the movie was ahead of its time. Soon after the film’s release, the world of poker changed drastically. The invention of card cameras and the 2003 $2.5 million Main Event victory of everyman Chris Moneymaker, who cites Rounders as one of his biggest influences, made the game of poker boom in a huge way. In 1999, the year that Damon’s Rounders character would have played in the World Series Main Event, 393 people competed and the winner made $1 million. Seven years later, 8,773 competed in the same event with the winner taking home $12 million.

So though Rounders was a theatrical bust, the poker boom made it a home video smash, grossing $70 million in profit for Miramax. The film was recently on a list of catalog titles Miramax was hoping to sequelize along with The Weinstein Company and this week Harvey Weinstein himself, a producer of the original movie and former head of the studio that released it, said he’s still trying to get a sequel to Rounders made. Read More »

UPDATE: Kevin Smith has responded to the mention of a Clerks sequel. His note, via Twitter, is after the break. Original article follows.

Now that the handover of Miramax to new ownership is really going forward, the company is making an interesting move. Miramax announced this morning that it will team with The Weinstein Company — aka the men who founded and then left Miramax — to produce sequels to a handful of Miramax titles.

One of the first announced projects is a sequel to Bad Santa, which Billy Bob Thornton had recently discussed as being a project of interest. Rounders and Shakespeare in Love sequels are also in the works, with more possibly to follow. More info after the break. Read More »

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