UnNews:Weinsteins lose rights to Halloween

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24 January 2016

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Written by special guest coumnists

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Bob and Harvey Weinstein
The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films

This picture is pending removal unless somebody buys the rights to Halloween.

HOLLYWOOD, California - You've all heard the news by now. No, not Lemmy's death. No, not David Bowie's death, either. Alan Rickman, nope. This isn't about Donald Trump running for President.

This is about the rights to, and future of, one of the most legendary film franchises in all of cinema. No, not The Terminator or Avatar. Try a little more alternative. I'm talking about Halloween.

Ah yes, Halloween. The simple story of masked maniac Michael Myers. You may have heard that we've lost the rights to this beloved franchise. You may be right. We had a six-year window to make another Halloween after the massive critical, commercial, and fan failure of Rob Zombie's 2009 reboot sequel, Halloween II. What took us so long?

Let's rewind back to 2009. What's rewinding, you ask? Before any of you kids were born, before DVD and Blu-ray, people used to watched movies at home on VHS. But that's another discussion for another day. In 2009, upon the release of Rob Zombie's disaster-in-the-making, we were so high on Halloween that we immediately hired Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer to direct and write, respectively, the next Halloween, which would have been in 3D. Don't ask me where we got that idea. Probably the same place we got the idea for Halloween: Resurrection. I'm sorry I even mentioned that movie.

I'll put this as nicely as possible: The script was a steaming pile of dog shit. I mean, any script that describes a character as "fucking hot" cannot be taken seriously. The script tried poorly to gradually transition from the Rob Zombie universe back to the John Carpenter universe. The two interpretations of Halloween are incompatible with each other. Carpenter was subtle. Zombie has the subtlety of sitting on somebody's face and farting on them. The only thing Halloween 3D had going for it was the return of Halloween III: Season of the Witch star, Tom Atkins.

Then they went on to do Drive Angry 3D, which was a test to see if they could handle a 3D Halloween. The film bombed like Busta Rhymes karate-chopping Michael Myers. We lost a lot of money; we never would have had enough for even the cheapest Halloween. We couldn't even afford to make one starring Bob and I as sock puppets shot on an iPhone.

We had a string of flops for years to come, many of which I can't even remember the name of. But when we somehow scrapped some money together, we hired Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton (the Saw sequel guys) to do the next Halloween. They may or may not have been the right guys for the job, but they had a great idea -- make a direct sequel to Carpenter. Shoot it on film, bring back the Panaglide, dig up and reanimate Donald Pleasence's corpse, mix the sound in mono, the whole package.

But then, we met with our old pal, Quentin Tarantino, who had this crazy-brilliant idea of doing a big 70mm Western in a widescreen format that hadn't been used in 49 years. Naturally, Harvey and I said, "Sign us up."

Unfortunately, we got so wrapped up in The Hateful Eight and all this 70mm roadshow stuff, that we completely neglected Halloween. And before we knew it, the rights had reverted back to what used to be Miramax. And now they're trying to find another studio to distribute any future installment.

Whoever gets the rights to Halloween:

For good advice on how to, um, resurrect Halloween (dammit, I'm sorry for reminding people of that movie, but for lack of a better word...), see this wonderful UnNews article:

UnNews:How the Halloween franchise can dig itself out of its hole

Who do we hope gets the rights? Paramount could result in a Jason crossover. New Line could give the fans a Freddy Krueger crossover. But our money (whatever's left of it) is on Lionsgate. They're basically us with more money, more hits and better ideas.

See you at the Oscars... even though we're barely nominated for anything. Too much Star Wars, Mad Max, and white guys.

Oh, and before we go, here's a list of the flops that made us lose the rights.

Year Film Notes
2009 Halloween II What more do we need to say?
A Single Man I think we counted a single audience member in a single screening.
Capitalism: A Love Story Nobody goes to see documentaries. Who were we kidding?
Janky Promoters We failed to Janky promote it.
The Road Not a whole lot of cars on the road in front of the theater. Funny, I don't even remember this movie at all.
Nine It did pick up a few Golden Globes. That in itself, isn't bad.
2010 Youth in Revolt I guess audiences revolted.
Hurricane Season Never heard of this one, but Wikipedia says we made it.
Shelter Too bad this isn't Gimme Shelter. Then we'd have more money.
Le Concert Le amnesia
The Tillman Story Nope. Don't remember this one, either.
Nowhere Boy This one went nowhere, man.
Blue Valentine The dreaded NC-17 rating
2011 The Company Men Nobody wants to see a bunch of old farts sitting around talking.
Miral Do you remember this, one, Harv? No? Me, neither.
Scream 4 Was the film a scream at the box office? Depends on who you ask.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil Does anyone remember these movies?
Submarine The film sank.
Sarah's Key Sarah's key couldn't unlock ticket sales.
Spy Kids 4 The franchise was past its prime by this point. We didn't even use the same kids; they had grown up by that point. Never mind, according to Wikipedia, they were in it, after all. Only older. Oh Wikipedia and IMDB, what would Bob and I do without you? Oh, that's right. Make another Halloween movie, if we still had the rights.
Apollo 18 Did fine financially, but critically... Huston, we had a problem.
I Don't Know How She Does It I don't know how we didn't make more money. Women will go to see any brainless chick flick you throw at them.
Dirty Girl Critics hated it, and it only made about $5,000. Not 5 million, 5 thousand. Ouch.
2012 Cory Alanis Oh, it's Coriolanus? That film that Ralph Fiennes directed? Forgot about that one. Forgot how to pronounce it, too.
W.E. W.E. know nobody wants to see stuffy British dramas.
Undefeated Critically acclaimed, but it got defeated at the box office. $562 grand.
Piranha 3DD Too many D's?
Lawless Arrested at the box office.
The Master Surprisingly not a huge hit, despite its highly-publicized 70mm screenings, and the performances by Joaquin Phoenix and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
Butter No Butter to go with anybody's popcorn.
This Must Be the Place This must be not fondly remembered.
2013 Escape From Planet Earth We couldn't get John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, or even Dean Cundey to come back. So we had to retool it and remove Snake Plissken.
Dark Skies Dark screens.
Quartet Solo.
The Sapphires If you wanna see a play, go see a play, not a movie based on one, which you'll forget about in five years.
Vampire Academy They pitched it to us as Police Academy with vampires. It wasn't until the film opened that we remembered there hadn't been a Police Academy movie in almost 20 years, and each one kept getting worse and worse. Except for Citizens on Patrol. People say Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made; no, Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol is the greatest film ever made. What other film in cinematic history features Michael Winslow, Bobcat Goldthwait, Tony Hawk, Steve Guttenberg, a rap theme, and the old guy from Punky Brewster?
The Giver The pioneering young adult novel that was too late to adapt.

And those are just the flops.