In 1979, Miramax Films was started by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The company was named after combining the two parents name into the company: Miriam, for their mother, and Max, for their dad. In 1987, they went full throttle as far as producing/distributing movies are concerned. In 1993, Miramax was purchased by Disney, though they still licensed home video rights to Live Entertainment (which had already been distributing select Miramax titles, beginning with Hostile Takeover, on videocassette) until they formed a new home video division specifically to release new Miramax product in late 1994. On March 29, 2005, however, the Weinstein brothers decided to leave both Disney and Miramax (the split was consummated on September 30 that same year), and in October 2005, they made another film company called "The Weinstein Company". In January 2010, its offices were shut down in New York and Los Angeles and moved operations to Burbank, where Disney is based. The move caused 70 people to lose their jobs and 10 people to keep running the label. Disney also cut releases each year from 6 to just 3. Dick Cook, former Disney Studio Chairman wanted to keep Miramax but resigned, with his successor (Rich Ross) deciding on selling Miramax. Bob Iger said on a conference call that when questioned about possible Miramax sale. On December 3, 2010, The Walt Disney Company finalized the sale of Miramax Films to Filmyard Holdings, LLC, a joint venture between Colony Capital, Tutor-Saliba Corporation, and Qatar Investment Authority; Miramax released its last films the following year. On January 22, 2013, Ron Tutor sold his stake in Miramax to Qatar Investment Authority.
1st Logo (1980-1987)
Nickname: "Filmstrip M"
Logo: On a black background, we see a filmstrip, made into a letter "M". The text "MIRAMAX FILMS" is next to the "M" with "in association with" above.
Variant: On some films, such as Crossover Dreams and The Quest, the logo is a simple textual graphic reading "A MIRAMAX FILMS Release" in a plain non-serif font.
Music/Sounds: Silent, or the music from any given soundtrack.
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 also had this logo when it aired on Nickelodeon & TLC in the US, Family Channel in Canada, and across several other English-speaking territories, however it is not preserved on DVDs of the show. It is intact on the U.S Family Home Entertainment and UK Video Collection VHS releases.
Scare Factor: None.
Nicknames: "The Banner of Boredom"
Logo: Simply a still version of the 4th logo.
Music/Sounds: None or the theme of the movie or trailer.
Availability: Rare. It's found on mainly trailers for some Miramax features and films such as The Unbelievable Truth and Blue in the Face. It also makes appearances on Clerks and 2002 prints of A Hard Day's Night (1964).
Scare Factor: None.
3rd Logo (September 11, 1987-October 29, 1999)
Nicknames: "The M", "The Big M", "Flashing M", "The Miramax M"
Logo: A blue "M" in Gill Sans Ultra Bold zooms out to the left of the screen. It scrolls to the right, revealing "MIRAMA" in gold, and when it gets to the end, it disappears in a flash of light, revealing an "X". The word "FILMS" (which is spaced out to fit the width of "MIRAMAX") fades in below with lines above and below it. A large "M" in black with a glowing blue corona surrounding it zooms out and borders the logo.
- For a number of years until Disney acquired the company, the word "presents", in script, would appear under the logo, depending on the variant.
- For releases that were released outside the USA and Canada only, the word "FILMS" was replaced with "INTERNATIONAL", the logo is less cheesy than before, and the flash of the outlined "M" is more flashy.
- On some films, such as Wings of the Dove, 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.
FX/SFX: The zooming out of the "M", the glowing letters, the flash, the "Big M".
Cheesy Factor: All 80s glowing effects, and the "M" zooming out at the beginning seems to be going in slow/delayed motion like the MTM kitten. Since this logo uses cel animation, it didn't look too bad for the 1980s and for most of the 1990s, but by 1999, this logo looked outdated after more than a decade.
Music/Sounds: A smooth synthesizer jingle, which actually makes this logo seem peaceful. Some films have the opening theme of the film, or is silent.
- On Pulp Fiction, the last two notes of the fanfare were cut off.
- On films such as Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood, and It's Just the Two of Us, the double pitched music from the Family Films variant of the logo is heard
Availability: Used to be common, but due to chronic plastering (with both 4th and 5th logos), this is now uncommon bordering on rare. Example with this is Sling Blade. This logo 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 international variant is only seen on releases outside of the US, such as Australian prints of the Scream films, and UK prints of the Jackie Chan film Thunderbolt. However, it has appeared on some R1 DVDs of foreign films like Farewell My Concubine. 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, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, and the Canadian release of Prospero's Books. Don't expect to see this logo on Bob Roberts. Despite the print logo appearing on posters and trailers, only the 1990 Paramount Pictures logo is used on-screen. It was also originally seen on US theatrical prints of Freddie as F.R.O.7 and Tom and Jerry: The Movie, but has been removed on current US prints (though it is retained on their Japanese R2 DVD releases).Strangely it's also seen on The Crow: City of Angels (which is odd seeing how Dimension films distributed the first film)
Scare Factor: Minimal. The flash might get to some, but it's pretty harmless. It's a favorite amongst the logo community.
(December 18, 1998-November 28, 2008)
Nicknames: "The Buildings", "Lights/Lites in the Big City", "Manhattan Skyline", "The City", "Miramax Skyline"
Logo: We zoom down a river, and pan up to see the skyline of a city (which is really a skyline of Manhattan) at sundown. As the sun sets, the lights in the building windows begin to turn on, like normal when it is sundown. As we zoom in closer to the buildings, several lights begin forming the Miramax Films logo, simply in white (no glowy effects like last time). The city skyline fades to black as the Miramax Films logo forms, piece by piece, while zooming towards the center of the screen.
Trivia: If you look hard enough, you possibly may see the World Trade Buildings. This was animated long before the World Trade buildings were bombed on September 11, 2001.
- 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.
- For this logo's first official year (1999, even though this logo debuted in 1998), the words "20TH ANNIVERSARY" appear above.
- There is a prototype variant of the "20TH ANNIVERSARY" logo where the top text is in orange or yellow, depending on the film quality.
- For releases outside the USA and Canada, the word "FILMS" was replaced with "INTERNATIONAL".
- There is an anniversary variant of this version also.
- In 2005, the skyline is slightly updated, due to the bombings on September 11th, 2001, the TWC left tower is placed to the edge, and the right tower is deleted.
- 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 releases of Three Colors: Blue, the Japanese horror film Ikio, and on some films released between 2007 and 2008 such as The Queen.
Closing Title: The print logo is scrolling up in the credits, then the last part of the current logo fades in.
FX/SFX: The CGI effects are nothing short of perfect.
Music/Sounds: The logo is usually silent, or has the opening theme of the film playing over it. Although some films, such as Music of the Heart, have a pleasant orchestrated piece with few instruments in the selection.
- On early films with this logo such as Raining Sunshine, and pre-1998 films such as The Harmonists and Mouth to Mouth, it uses the theme from the last logo!
- On the current HDTV airings and the Blu-ray of Shaolin Soccer, it uses the shortened theme from the next logo, possibly due to a botched plaster job.
- On the French dub on the 2002 Alliance Atlantis DVD of The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia, it had a Warner Bros. Family Entertainment jingle, complete with Bugs Bunny chomping on his carrot and all! Due to WBFE internationally distributes the said film, this logo is plastered it but the music remains.
Availability: Common, but starting to become uncommon. Seen on releases from 1998 to 2008 and was the norm for plastering the previous logo, but is starting to replaced with the next logo on new 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. Gangs of New York (2002) does not have this logo at all. In an interesting occurrence, when Confessions of a Dangerous Mind airs on Starz/Encore, the SD version retains this logo, but the HD version features the next logo below instead.
Scare Factor: None to minimal. The dark background may surprise some.
(December 25, 2008- )
Nicknames: "The Buildings II", "Lights/Lites in the Big City II", "Manhattan Skyline II", "The City II", "Miramax Skyline II"
Logo: Same concept as before, 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 both towers of the World Trade Center are gone (possibly due to 9/11). After we get to the city, the lights in the building windows begin to turn on, like normal when it is sundown. As we zoom slowly to the skyline, several lights begin forming the Miramax Films logo like before. The city skyline then fades to black as the Miramax Films logo forms, piece by piece.
Trivia: This logo was made by Studio Nos.
- Since 2010, most films only show the last half of the logo.
- Starting in 2011, the word "FILMS" is omitted. This variant first appeared on The Debt. Both of these versions (particularly the latter) plaster over older Miramax logos on new releases of their films.
- On Bad Santa 2, the second half of the logo cuts in.
Closing Title: Same as the previous logo.
FX/SFX: Marvelous CGI effects. It's possible that it is live-action, or a hybrid of both.
Music/Sounds: Usually, a soft piano tune with coastal and city noises.
- Sometimes, it is silent or has the opening theme of the movie.
- On some recent prints of their 1987-98 films, such as Jackie Brown and Il Postino, it uses the music from the 1987 logo!
- On Bridget Jones's Baby, the opening song "All By Myself" starts after the music ended, and it carries to the Working Title logo, leading to the opening of the film.
Availability: Common. It first appeared on Doubt, and is seen on all current films by the studio and plasters older Miramax logos on recent prints. Also, the opening logo is added into recent prints of In Search of SANTA, despite it starts without any logos at the beginning in original home media releases.
Scare Factor: None to minimal. The background may surprise some still, but it is generally well-liked. However, it can be annoying to those bothered by this plastering over older logos.