Miramax was founded by brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein in Buffalo, New York in 1979. The name comes from the combination of their parents first names, Max and Miriam. Originally, the company was created to distribute quality independent films that the major studios ignored.
The company's first major success The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (US Version) was a hugely successful release for Miramax in the summer of 1982. This started their practice of acquiring films from international filmmakers and reworking them to suit US sensibilities.
The company had a huge run of successes including Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
, The Crying Game, Pulp Fiction, Heavenly Creatures
and Shakespeare in Love.
The company quickly became one of the leaders of the independent film revolution of the last decade.
Miramax's greatest success was often at Oscar time receiving a huge number of Academy Award nominations for its releases.
In 1993 Miramax was purchased for $70 million by The Walt Disney Company. Harvey and Bob Weinstein continued to operate Miramax. But ultimately, their relationship with Disney soured and they left the company on September 30, 2005.
Disney's film studio, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group assumed full control of Miramax. The Weinstein brothers have since started a new film production company called The Weinstein Company. They also took the Dimension Films label back under their control.
The Miramax name has remained with the company and is now owned by Disney. Miramax Films is currently run by Daniel Battsek, the former head of Buena Vista International in the UK.