Childhood & Early Life
Bob Weinstein was born on born October 18, 1954, in Flushing, New York into a Jewish family. His father, Max Weinstein, was a diamond cutter while his mother, Miriam (née Postel), was a homemaker.
Born younger of his parents’ two children, he has an elder brother named Harvey. They grew up in a small two-bedroom apartment in a lower-middle-class housing cooperative called Electchester. They shared the same bedroom and both of them attended the John Bowne High School.
Every Saturday, their father took them to movies, which ranged from adventures and thrillers to comedies and romances. They also saw a lot of foreign films and while watching them, they developed a passion for movies and a desire to enter the film industry.
After graduating from school, Bob entered State University of New York at Fredonia, where he spent more time watching movies and listening to music, hardly attending classes. By then, Harvey had entered University of Buffalo, where he had established Harvey & Corky Productions with his friend Corky Burger.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
Sometime in early 1970s, Bob Weinstein dropped out of college to join Harvey Weinstein at Buffalo. Initially they arranged concerts at Century Theater, bringing in well-known artists like Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, and Stephen Stills. They soon found holding concerts was not very profitable and therefore started showing movies as well.
By 1979, the brothers had gathered enough profit to form an independent film distribution company, naming it ‘Miramax’ after their parents, Miriam and Max Weinstein. Their idea was to distribute independent films, which were rejected by the major studios as commercially unfeasible.
In the beginning, they dealt primarily with music oriented films, releasing 'Rockshow', a concert film by Paul McCartney and Wings, in 1980. In the following year, Bob debuted in writing, co-writing the screenplay for ‘The Burning’ with Peter Lawrence.
In 1982, they bought the rights of two films, produced by Martin Lewis for Amnesty International, and turned them into one, cleverly editing them to suit the American market. Titled ‘The Secret Policeman's Other Ball’, the film was successfully released in May 1982, giving them their first hit.
All through 1980s, they continued to build up their company, successfully releasing art-house films that not only earned critical attention, but also modest profit. While Harvey bought and produced the films, Bob concentrated mainly on finance and administration, thus earning a lower profile than his brother.
In 1988, Miramax gained nationwide publicity with the release of ‘The Thin Blue Line’, a documentary based on Randall Adams’ wrongful conviction. The film became very popular, resulting in Randall’s release.
In 1989, Miramax became the most successful independent studio with the release of ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape’. It was followed in the same year by another hit, ‘Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!’ Also in the same year, Bob debuted as co-executive producer with ‘Scandal’ and ‘The Lemon Sisters’.
In early 1990s, they began to suffer from financial crunch because of competitions in the independent film sector. In 1992, Bob founded a new label, Dimension Film, in order to distribute those films deemed unsuitable for release under the Miramax title.
On June 30, 1993, Miramax was bought over by The Walt Disney Company for $60 million. Although it now became a Walt Disney subsidy, Harvey and Bob continued to run the company with some degree of autonomy until 2005, when they left Walt Disney to form The Weinstein Company (TWC).
On March 15, 2005, they launched The Weinstein Company (TWC), which grew up to be one of the largest mini-major film studios in North America. In February 2006, they announced a distribution pact with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and in July announced creation of ‘Our Stories Films’.
In August 2006, they purchased Ovation TV with Hubbard Media Group; launched three direct-to-video labels in 2007 and a film distributer company called ‘Third Rail Releasing’ in 2008. Thereafter, they had a brief period of financial trouble, but by 2011, they were able to regain their position.
TWC continued to grow, building up their library, making many more successful deals until New York Times published sexual harassment charge against Harvey on October 5, 2017. The news created havoc with number of company directors resigning from their posts. Harvey was fired on October 8, 2017.
Although Bob Weinstein tried his best to save the company he failed to win the trust of the company’s business associates including the financial institutions, leading to deep debt. Finally on March 19, 2018, they decided to file bankruptcy and the company was declared defunct on May 1, 2018.