It’s been a tough start for the fledgling Weinstein Company. The Bros W made their mark at Miramax where they came in from under the radar and rewrote not just the rules of the indie world but of Oscar campaigning. When they left the company they created, they brought with them high expectations – none of which have been panning out. The biggest opener they’ve been able to manage was Clerks II. Their hopes right now are pinned squarely on Grindhouse and Michael Moore’s new documentary, Sicko.
But since Sundance they’ve been on a minor buying binge, picking up the kinds of movies that once made Miramax – at Sundance they got the vagina dentata movie Teeth and the John Cusack Iraq War drama Grace is Gone, as well as the presumably more mainstream Mandy Moore film Dedication. Now Harvey’s headed to Berlin and he’s made the big buy of the fest so far, taking the US rights to Morgan Spurlock’s follow-up to Super Size Me.
The movie is a look at the US hunt for Osama bin Laden post-9/11, and it’s supposedly bitingly comic. The whole thing is quite hush hush and Spurlock is forcing potential buyers to sign a “shocking” confidentiality agreement before they could see any footage. "Basically, it said they are going to kill me, my company and my family if I say anything at all about this," one potential US buyer told Variety.
The Weinsteins also picked up the French thriller Inside, about a pregnant woman who loses her boyfriend in a car crash and then is haunted by a mysterious and violent woman. But it’s the Spurlock buy that’s the big news – everyone was hot for this movie, and the purchase shows that even if the Weinsteins can’t open a ziplock they can still throw their considerable (yet slimmed down) weight around when doing purchases.