Miramax/Dimension and Spy Kids

The book Ind, Inc. Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s, Alisa Perren discusses the rise of Miramax in its production and distribution of independent films. For a time through the 1990’s Miramax managed to distribute its films as independent films. She talks about the sale of Miramax to Disney and how slowly the film’s Miramax distributed where questionably called Independent. It wasn’t till 1997 that the films it distributed and produced were in collaboration with Hollywood studios like Warner Bros. and Paramount. The fact that they were distributing them to the film festivals as independent is what Perren says reporters criticized.

Independent films can be defined as being separate from the influence of the big Hollywood Studios. Meaning they are not controlled by that studio business in terms of production and distribution. Film studios are an exhibition means for independent films, especially for low budget films. Perren mentions that Miramax started to use the film festivals, for example the Sundance, as an exhibition tool for its films that reporters where claiming as non-independent. The reason was the company used its owner Disney for their production. Therefore it meant that some of their other films were produced or distributed by Hollywood Studios, like Shakespeare in Love.Kids_soundtrack

Production might mean financing all of the films requirements. In terms of this the question is. What is the difference between an independent company and independent director? Often the budget level of the film determines if it is independent or not. An independent director can be one that produces and directors his/her own films without help from any kind of studio. This can prove to be very difficult just in those two areas not including exhibition. The cost of exhibition at film festivals for the director can prove to be a lot. Further unlike studio films the production will not gross as much because of the obscurity of the director. Independent companies, as Perren talks about, can be those that are not connected to the Hollywood in those the director becomes less obscure as Robert Rodriguez the more films he makes for them.

Spy Kids was one of those films that were distributed by Miramax and produced Dimension regardless if it was consider independent. Directed by Robert Rodriguez Spy Kids had a budget of $35 million, on opening weekend in Italy the film made $137,939 and grossed a total of $112,692,062 in the USA on September 21, 2001. I remember when the film came out for the first time what a big hit it was for my friends and me. Unlike the usual animated films that Disney had produced, The Lion King, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, in the past it was trying to stay with its young audience that were aging. Perren states that Miramax attempted to do this as well with its film Kids. As with previous films Miramax seemed to have the intended audience in mind more so then the label of the film. As so often is the case of film studios to increase their finances.

“Kids.” International Movie Data base. Web. 13 Feb. 2015.

Perren, Alisa. Ind, Inc. Miramax and the Transformation of Hollywood in the 1990s. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012. Print

“Spy Kids.” International Movie Data base. Web. 13 Feb. 2015

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