Marking a major loss for Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner’s Magnolia Pictures, The Weinstein Company is launching a new label focusing on innovative distribution strategies to be run by Magnolia’s Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, who will be co-presidents. The unnamed New York-based TWC label will “bring new films and other specialty entertainment to audiences simultaneously across multiple digital and traditional platforms,” said the Weinsteins in a release.
Many companies are trying to grab a piece of what could eventually be a profitable digital indie distribution market, including VOD pioneers Magnolia, IFC Films and Cinetic Digital Media. Both Quinn and Janego have learned a lot about emerging digital platforms and alternative distribution strategies during their stints at Magnolia, where they were senior vice president and head of legal & business affairs, respectively. In 2005, Magnolia released Steven Soderbergh’s Bubble and Alex Gibney’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room day and date in theaters and on DVD. They went onto release films via the premium VOD/theatrical platform model, from James Gray’s Two Lovers and Neil Marshall’s Centurion to Takashi Miike’s 13 Assassins, Gibney’s Client 9 and Freakonomics.
TWC hopes that the new label will allow them “to premiere select titles across multiple platforms via immediate-access digital and traditional media and will bring TWC’s unique, high-quality films to larger audiences than ever before.” Quinn and Janego plan to develop content and distribution strategies that move beyond the on-demand model, with a goal of branding the new label for audiences. Quinn and Janego will oversee acquisitions, productions and distribution of label content, which will presumably be extremely low budget.
Both execs will on the ground hunting for product at Toronto, with the intention of starting to fill a 2012 release slate in the spring. Rumors of the new Weinstein venture were circulating in Telluride.