Miramax Films

From Audiovisual Identity Database

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Credits
Descriptions by
Jess Williams, Juniorfan88, Thestudioghiblifan, and others

Captures by
Juniorfan88, wisp2007, Eric S., Logophile, EnormousRat, V of Doom, and snelfu

Video captures courtesy of
LogosForTheWin, DudeThatLogo, Gorb Stromaire, Logo Archive, LogicSmash, logoman21, Maxim Atanasov, Xoger, The DMB Network, ENunn, The AVTB Archives, KiNoLoGoIntroRelease and Maxie's Random Junk

Background

Miramax Films is a film and television production and distribution company that was started on December 19, 1979 by brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The company name was created by combining the names of their parents: their mother Miriam, and father Max. In 1987, they went full throttle as far as producing/distributing movies are concerned. In 1992, Dimension Films was created by Bob as a division of the studio. A year later, in 1993, both companies were purchased by The Walt Disney Company, though it still licensed home video rights to Live Entertainment (which had already been distributing select Miramax titles, beginning with Hostile Takeover, on videocassette) until it formed a new home video division in late 1994.

On March 29, 2005, the Weinstein brothers decided to leave both Disney and Miramax and took the Dimension label with them (a split which was consummated on September 30), and in October of that year, they founded another film company, The Weinstein Company. In January 2010, Disney shut down Miramax's New York and Los Angeles offices and consolidated all operations to Disney's native Burbank. The move resulted in 70 job losses and 10 were kept to keep running the label. Disney also cut releases each year from 6 to just 3. Former Disney Studio chairman Dick Cook wanted to keep Miramax but resigned, with his successor, Rich Ross, deciding on selling the studio. Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed this on a conference call when questioned about a possibility of selling Miramax.

On December 3, 2010, Disney finalized the sale of Miramax to Filmyard Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between Colony Capital, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority. On January 22, 2013, Ron Tutor sold his stake in Miramax to the Qatar Investment Authority. On March 2, 2016, the studio was sold to fellow Qatari company beIN Media Group, a spin-off of the Al-Jazeera Media Network's sports assets. From 2011 to 2019, Lionsgate Home Entertainment handled the US home media distribution of the Miramax library, while European home media rights lied with StudioCanal, and in Japan, home media distribution was handled by Warner Home Video from 2012 until 2017. Shortly after its remerger in December 2019, ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global) acquired a 49% stake in Miramax, with the deal closing on April 3, 2020, putting its film library under the ownership of Paramount Pictures.

1st Logo (November 1, 1980-November 28, 1987)

Logo: On a black background, we see a filmstrip, made into a letter "M". The text "MIRAMAX FILMS" in Optima is next to the "M" with "in association with" above.

Variant: On some films, such as Crossover Dreams, Ghost Fever, and The Quest, the logo is a simple textual graphic reading "A MIRAMAX FILMS Release" in a plain non-serif font.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: Silent, or the music from any given soundtrack.

Music/Sounds Variant: On some prints, especially the English dub of David the Gnome, the last note of the Cinar logo is played.

Availability: Very rare. It was seen on their limited output of this era such as Rockshow and The Secret Policeman's Other Ball, among others. The English-language print of David the Gnome (aka The World of David the Gnome) also had this logo when it aired on Nickelodeon and TLC in the U.S., Family Channel in Canada, and across several other English-speaking territories. However, it is not preserved on DVDs of the show, likely due to Miramax's rights to the show expiring, but it is intact on the U.S. Family Home Entertainment and UK Video Collection VHS releases.

2nd Logo (March 27, 1987-December 11, 1998; October 5, 2001)

Logo: On a black background, we see the text "MIRAMAX" in the Gill Sans Ultra Bold-like font. Below it is "FILMS", stretched to fit the width of "MIRAMAX", with a line on top and on the bottom of it.

FX/SFX: None.

Music/Sounds: None or the opening theme of the movie or trailer.

Availability: Rare. It's found mainly on trailers for some Miramax features and films such as The Unbelievable Truth, My Left Foot (VHS only) and Blue in the Face. It also makes appearances on Clerks and the 2002 restoration of A Hard Day's Night (1964), and a surprise appearance at the start of Serendipity.

3rd Logo (September 11, 1987-October 29, 1999, 2002)

Logo: An "M" in the same font as before zooms out to the left of the screen and scrolls to the right, revealing "MIRAMA", and when it gets to the end, it disappears in a flash of light, revealing an "X". The word "FILMS" with its usual lines fades in below. A large "M" in black with a glowing blue corona surrounding it zooms out and borders the logo.

Variants:

  • For a number of years until Disney acquired the company, the word "presents", in script, would appear under the logo.
  • On some films, the "FILMS" text is omitted.
  • On some widescreen versions of the logo, the top and bottom edges of the "Big M" touch the black borders, or are cut off.
  • Sometimes, the logo fades out early while the rest of the music plays.
  • Rarely, the text would be silver.
  • On Ready to Wear, when the "M" zooms out, the entire logo zooms out even further.
  • For the international version, "INTERNATIONAL" replaces "FILMS".
  • There is a version of the International version where "presents" (in the same script) appears under the logo.
  • On Scandal, the logo is still, except for "presents" fading in.

FX/SFX: Cel animation.

Music/Sounds: A calm synth fanfare with a "new age" feel to it. Some films have the opening theme of the film; otherwise, it is silent.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On Pulp Fiction and the English Canadian VHS of Gordy, the last two notes of the fanfare are cut off.
  • Sometimes, the music is double pitched.

Availability: Used to be common, but due to chronic plastering with both 4th and 5th logos, now it is uncommon, bordering on rare.

  • This first appeared on I've Heard the Mermaids Singing, and made its last appearance at the end of Music of the Heart (which uses the next logo below at the beginning).
  • The "presents" variant appears on the R1 DVDs of Strictly Ballroom, Kolya, the Live Entertainment releases of The Crying Game, the VHS releases of The Grifters (but not on the Canadian Cineplex Odeon VHS, where it's skipped entirely), Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, the Canadian VHS release of Prospero's Books, and the Canadian Seville Pictures DVD of Breaking the Rules (VUDU prints use the Morgan Creek logo instead, though with Miramax's jingle retained), among others.
  • The version that fades out early can be seen on Il Postino (The Postman) and Everest.
  • Don't expect to see this logo on Bob Roberts, despire the print logo appearing on posters and trailers, only the 1990 Paramount Pictures logo is used on-screen.
  • It was also originally seen on U.S. theatrical prints of Freddie as F.R.O.7 and Tom and Jerry: The Movie, but the home video releases show no evidence, though in the case of the former, it's an alternate cut.
  • This can be seen on The Crow: City of Angels, but Dimension distributed the film. It was also spotted on the 1999 HBO DVD of My Left Foot, and is preserved on the Anchor Bay DVDs of Strapless and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover. It is also seen on early U.S. prints of Princess Mononoke while later prints use the next logo and the 2017 DVD uses the GKIDS logo. It was also seen on the Canadian VHS releases of The Girl in a Swing and The Miracle, despite the fact that Millimeter and Prestige distributed those two respective films to U.S. theaters. It can also be found on the U.S. Buena Vista/Lionsgate Blu-Rays of Sling Blade, Chasing Amy, Life is Beautiful, the Alliance Blu-Ray releases of The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, and the Echo Bridge Blu-Ray of Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood. It's also intact on the 2005 Australian Pulp Fiction 2-Disc 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD.
  • This may have been seen on theatrical prints of The Long Walk Home, but VHS releases skip the logo (despite its presence on the box).
  • This also makes a surprise appearance on the US dub of Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra instead of the next logo, and makes a very strange appearance on an Italian HDTV airing of The Brothers Grimm (instead of the international variant of the next logo).
  • It was also seen on the Canadian Cineplex Odeon VHS releases of Gulliver's Travels (1983), The Golden Treasure, The Adventures of the Magnificent Six and a Half, The Young Visitors, Tail of the Tiger and Undercover Gang, among possible others.
  • It also may have been seen on theatrical prints of Pastime, the Canadian comedy Crazy Moon, The Pope Must Diet, the Canadian thriller Murder One, and House of Cards, among others.
  • Don't expect this to appear on Faithful, which they co-produced with Savoy Pictures.
  • It is unknown if this is seen on the Media/Fox VHS release of Black Rainbow or the Charter Entertainment VHS of I've Heard the Mermaids Singing.
  • It is preserved on the 1995 Canadian Alliance Video VHS release of Gordy.
  • The International version was seen on international releases of films of the time. It surprisingly appears at the start of some post 1998-2002 international releases, such as Spy Kids on its Australian DVD release.
  • The International version with "presents" underneath can be found on the 2001 Australian DVD release of Emma (1996).

Legacy: One of the more iconic movie logos of the '90s. This logo utilizes an effective use of cel animation, however it started to look dated by the late 1990s. This was used in tandem with the next logo until almost a year later.

4th Logo (December 11, 1998-November 28, 2008)

Logo: We zoom down a river, and pan up to see the skyline of Manhattan, New York, at sundown. As the sun sets, the lights in the building windows begin to turn on, just like in real life. As we zoom in closer to the buildings, several lights begin forming the company's print logo, simply in white (no glowy effects like last time). The city skyline fades to black as the logo forms, piece by piece, while zooming towards the center of the screen. The end result is similar to the 2nd logo.

Alternate Descriptive Video Transcription: The camera glides across the water before panning up to see a moonlit shot of the Manhattan skyline with the lights turning on. Fading to black, up comes the white lettering: Miramax Films.

Trivia:

  • If you look hard enough, you may possibly see the World Trade Center. This was animated three years before the original World Trade Center was destroyed in a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. On recent films shot on digital, the right tower is removed and the left one is placed to the edge of the city skyline.
  • The logo appears to be shot at the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, facing towards Times Square.
  • One Astor Plaza, the headquarters of Miramax's future owner ViacomCBS (now Paramount Global), could be also seen to the left of the skyline.

Variants:

  • From 1998 until 2004, the logo was shot on 35mm film. In the logo's final years from 2005-2008, it is shot on digital.
  • When the logo debuted and during the logo's first official year, 1999, the words "20TH ANNIVERSARY" appear above.
  • There is a prototype variant of the "20TH ANNIVERSARY" logo where the top text is in orange, white or gold, depending on the film quality.
  • Yet another variant of the "20TH ANNIVERSARY" version exists, where the text is smaller.
  • Just like the previous logo, releases outside the United States have the word "FILMS" replaced with "INTERNATIONAL".
  • There exists a 1.78:1 open-matte version where the landscape is zoomed out much farther back. This version is seen on the Miramax DVD release of Three Colors: Blue, and on some films released between 2007 and 2008.

FX/SFX: CGI effects.

Music/Sounds: Usually silent, or has the opening theme of the film playing over it. Although some films have a pleasant orchestrated piece with a few instruments in the selection.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On early films with this logo such as Children of Heaven, and pre-1998 films such as The Harmonists and Mouth to Mouth, it uses the previous logo's theme.
  • On the some older HDTV airings and the UK StudioCanal Blu-Ray of Shaolin Soccer, it uses the shortened theme from the next logo, possibly due to a botched plaster job.

Availability: Common. Seen on releases from 1998 to 2008 and was the norm for plastering the previous logo, but is replaced with the next logo on most newer prints of their film library.

  • This logo first appeared on Shakespeare in Love, and made its final theatrical appearance on The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
  • When Confessions of a Dangerous Mind airs on Starz/Encore, the standard-definition version retains this logo, but the high-definition airings of the film features the next logo below instead.
  • Despite plastering from the following logo, it can still be seen on US prints of The Talented Mr. Ripley, There Will Be Blood, and YouTube prints of The Aviator (2004) and Underclassman.
  • This might have appeared on some international prints of the 2002 French/Italian co-production, Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra (which includes Miramax's English dub), or the Buena Vista International logo, as Disney owned Miramax at the time. The previous logo appears on DVDs and TV airings of the films for unknown reasons.
  • The International version was seen on international releases of films of the time.

5th Logo (December 25, 2008-July 6, 2018)

Logo: It's the same concept as the previous logo, but instead of the skyline, we pan up to see the Brooklyn Bridge at sundown. As the sun sets, we zoom towards the buildings until we finally get to the skyline of Manhattan. One difference of the skyline is that the World Trade buildings are gone (possibly due to 9/11). After we get to the city, the lights in the building windows begin to turn on. As we zoom slowly to the skyline, several lights begin forming the logo like before as we then fade to black, piece by piece.

Variants:

  • A prototype variant exists where there is added motion blur, there is a timelapse effect in the clouds, a boat is floating in the water, the buildings' lights turn off slower and the dark yellow sky at the end doesn't fade out. It's overall a much more detailed version of the logo.
  • Since 2010, most films only show the last half of the logo.
  • Starting in 2011, the word "FILMS" is omitted. Both of these versions (particularly the latter) plaster over older Miramax logos on new releases of their films.
  • Starting in 2016, a registered trademark ("®") symbol appears next to the wordmark.
  • On recent prints of My Life So Far (2002), this plastered the “20th Anniversary” variant of the previous logo, but for some reason, they keep the “20th Anniversary” text.
  • The closing version has just the logo and the city skyline.

FX/SFX: A hybrid of live-action and CGI effects, made by Studio Nos.

Music/Sounds: Usually, a soft piano tune with coastal and city noises. Sometimes, it is silent or has the opening theme of the movie.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On some recent prints of their 1987-98 films, such as Pulp Fiction and Il Postino (The Postman), it uses the 1987 theme.
  • On Starz’s prints of 40 Days and 40 Nights, the 1997 Universal Pictures theme is used, due to the editors using the audio from an international master.

Availability: Common.

  • It first appeared on Doubt, and made its final appearance on Whitney.
  • It also plasters older Miramax logos on recent prints of films. Strangely, it appears before the 1990 Walt Disney Pictures logo on Runaway Brain when it was a digital-exclusive extra on Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection.
  • It also appeared on a recent Cinemax broadcast of Tombstone, a Hollywood Pictures film. Until Lionsgate and Echo Bridge assumed the home media rights to the Miramax catalog, this was used as a de-facto home video logo.

Legacy: Some people may be annoyed how it plasters older Miramax logos. While it does get some notoriety, the logo wasn't very notorious when it debuted in 2008 (due to it being the longer variant and not yet plastering).

6th Logo (September 8, 2018-)

Logo: We see three sets of blue light rings (2 of the "R", and one of the first "M", with the "I" partially visible) at night in the Hudson Valley (a la the 3rd logo), soon followed by the company name, spread out, slowly coming together to form the logo, illuminating a city (possibly a bird's-eye view of New York) below. The respective byline fades in.

Bylines:

  • 2018-2020: "A beIN MEDIA GROUP COMPANY" (in variations of the Gotham font) underneath the "MAX" text.
  • 2020-2022: "A beIN MEDIA GROUP AND VIACOMCBS COMPANY", with "VIACOMCBS" being the corporate logo, centered underneath the logo.
  • 2022-: "A beIN MEDIA GROUP & PARAMOUNT COMPANY" in the Peak Sans font, same place as the previous byline

Variant: There is a shorter version, which skips the the first pan across the "R".

FX/SFX: CGI animation. This was animated by MOCEAN, who would eventually animate the Searchlight Pictures logo later on in 2020.

Music/Sounds: A somber four-note theme, or the opening theme of the film.

Availability: Current.

  • First appeared on the final trailer for Halloween (2018), and debuted on the film itself.
  • It was also seen on The Gentlemen, Wrath of Man and the 4K remastered of Scream (1996).
  • The shorter version first appeared on The Perfection, and it will most likely only appear on non-theatrically released films and Miramax Television shows. It also appears at the beginning of Miramax's YouTube videos.
  • The BeIN Media Group/Paramount byline debuted on the TV section of the company's website and made its first appearance on Confess, Fletch and later appeared on Halloween Ends.

Legacy: This is the first time that Miramax hasn't used the Manhattan skyline concept since 1998, even though some liked the New York City theme.

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