So the Weinsteins and Genius Products (which TWC co-owns) are starting up a new specialty division, eh? What’s that? The first film they’re going to release under that label is Diary of the Dead? What’ll it be called? Third Rail Releasing? That’s an intriguing, yet innocuous, title, I guess; what’ll they do? “Release a slate of six to 10 films annually, with the aim of spending less than $5 million per picture?” Cool?
Considering The Weinstein Company’s first film was Derailed, it’s pretty obvious the Brothers weren’t attempting to establish TWC as the same sort of “prestige” studio Miramax eventually became. For a while, they looked lost, stumbling through the calendar, dumping their shit wherever they pleased.
With this Third Rail deal, though, it looks like the Weinsteins are getting organized. Lee Solomon, the brand new TWC COO, will be heading up Third Rail, meaning this is the first major move Solomon will have taken at TWC. The Hollywood Reporter confirms this line of thought:
“The launch is being heralded as the first in a series of strategic and operational moves the company plans to make with the recent addition of Lee Solomon as COO.”
Solomon wants everyone to know not to get the wrong idea from their releasing Diary of the Dead as their first picture; it does set the precedent for the kinds of films they want to release, but that precedent probably isn’t what you think. It’s the low-budget thing that is the key.
“George A. Romero is the perfect director to launch this label, but Third Rail will not be genre specific; we plan on releasing a diverse slate of pictures,” Solomon said. “It’s an alternative label designed to release true independent films with an edge.” Also, remember that quote from my irritating first paragraph: “the aim of spending less than $5 million per picture.”
Basically, Solomon is saying Third Rail will try to be THINKFilm.