BREAKING: Miramax today has named Bill Block its Chief Executive Officer. He will oversee a reboot that will put the library-based company squarely back into the film and TV production businesses. The appointment was made by Nasser Al-Khelaifi, the Chairman of beIN Media Group and Miramax. Al-Khelaifi, a Qatar businessman and former tennis player who is chairman/CEO of the Paris Saint-Germain football club, will spearhead the reboot of Miramax and certainly has the financial resources to do it. The company was started and built by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, left behind by the siblings after they exited Disney to form The Weinstein Company. Disney sold the library to a consortium of companies led by Colony Capital, for $660 million. While the company often made noise about exploiting the trove of screenplays the Weinsteins left behind, and creating film and TV series from its many prestige library titles, the enterprise has been profitable primarily on the curation of its library of 700 titles.
In Block, Al-Khelaifi is getting a wily veteran who has seen the business both as a seller as a buyer. Block most recently has been engaged in the producing and financing of such independent films as Bad Moms, the David Ayer-directed Brad Pitt-starrer Fury, and the Neill Blomkamp-directed District 9 and Elysium. He was Founder/CEO of production company QED and before that was president of Artisan Entertainment. Block grew up in the agency business, where his posts included Founder/CEO of Intertalent, and serving two stints at ICM in between as its West Coast president.
“Bill’s extensive experience across numerous platforms, combined with his deep knowledge of the industry, makes him outstandingly qualified to propel Miramax into this new and transformative world of distribution, content and sales,” said Al-Khelaifi in a statement. “Miramax is committed to expand production and acquisitions in film and television and Bill’s strong leadership will surely lead Miramax successfully into the future, and we are thrilled to have him on board.”
Block called Miramax “a storied brand that is poised for growth across all of its divisions – film, TV, licensing and beyond. Its library offers a wealth of opportunities for the global entertainment business that I look forward to exploring. It is an honor to helm this legacy and expand it qualitatively across all platforms including the immense growth potential across digital and in new media. Nasser Al-Khelaifi is a visionary entrepreneur and the beIN Media Group are committed to the long term horizon of media growth and evolution in the 21st century.”
Miramax has begun buying projects recently — it acquired U.S. distribution rights to a biopic of disgraced Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding with Margot Robbie starring in I, Tonya — and the label is currently in production on the Johnny Depp-Forest Whitaker police drama Labyrinth, a mystery about the murders of hip hop icons Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.