Sunday, August 7, 2005

Weinsteins buy US rights to Tom Yum Goong

Variety and Screen Daily are reporting that the Weinstein Brothers have purchased the rights to Tom Yum Goong. Given the record of the Weinstein's old company, Miramax, has with Asian films, no one is very excited by this prospect. There's plenty of grumbling over at Twitch about it. And with good reason.

Miramax bought the rights to Tears of the Black Tiger and have sat on it ever since. Come on! It's been five years! Show it already!

They had Shaolin Soccer and botched the release of it. They had Iron Monkey and rescored it and edited it and made it a "Quentin Tarantino presents" film. They had Hero and it turned into a Quentin film as well. I can't think right now what other injustices they've done to Asian film.

Most folks would have thought that Asian film companies wouldn't sell anymore to the Weinsteins, but apparently the money was good enough and that was all that matters.

But there's a part of me that's hoping the new Weinstein company will do a better job, since it isn't connected to Disney, which I think jealously stockpiled Asian films with an eye toward remaking them first. And because the Weinstein's are a new company, perhaps they will go ahead and release the film in a timely manner because they have fewer other options.

Tom Yum Goong is set for an Asia-wide release on August 11 and in Europe sometime early next year, according to a recent article in ThaiDay.

The rights to Tom Yum Goong outside Asia were initially purchased by the French company, TF1, which outbid Luc Besson's EuropaCorp.

Now this is where it got confusing for me. TF1 only purchased the sales rights -- it isn't a distributor. TF1 passes its French distribution rights on to TFM. And the Weinsteins have distribution rights for North American and other places.

Contender Home Entertainment bought the UK rights to both Tom Yum Goong and Ong Bak. And there's another company doing the release in Korea, and will likely send the movie to DVD shortly after the theatrical run.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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