In 1979, Miramax Films was started by Bob and Harvey Weinstein. The company name was a combination of the first names of their parents: Miriam, for their mother, and Max, for their father. 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 opened another studio, 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 left only another 10 to keep the brand going. 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. Domestic video distribution rights were later handed to Lionsgate Home Entertainment, while international home media rights were given to StudioCanal. On January 22, 2013, Ron Tutor sold his stake in Miramax to Qatar Investment Authority. On March 2, 2016, the studio was sold to the beIN Media Group, a spin-off of the Al Jazeera Media Network's sports assets. In December 2019, the then newly reformed ViacomCBS purchased a 49 percent ownership stake in Miramax, placing Miramax's 500 film library into Paramount's ownership.
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.
Music/Sounds Variant: On some prints of David the Gnome, the last note of the Cinar logo is played.
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 version 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 series. It is intact on the U.S Family Home Entertainment and UK Video Collection VHS releases.
2nd Logo (1987-1999)
Nicknames: "The Banner of Boredom"
Logo: Simply a still version of the 4th logo.
- On Clerks, instead of fading out it fades to the start of the View Askew Productions logo.
- On a 1992 TV spot for Freddie as F.R.O.7., all the text is green.
Music/Sounds: None or the theme of the movie or trailer.
Music/Sounds Variant: The Clerks version has the start of the VAP's logo music.
Availability: Rare. It's mainly been used on trailers for some Miramax features and films such as The Unbelievable Truth and Blue in the Face. It also made an appearance on the 2002 reissue of 1964's A Hard Day's Night.
3rd Logo (September 11, 1987-October 29, 1999)
Nicknames: "The M", "The Big M", "Flashing M", "The Miramax M", "The Blue 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 NA, the word "FILMS" was replaced with "INTERNATIONAL".
- In Australia, the Roadshow Television logo transitions to the said variant.
- 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.
- On television broadcasts, "FILMS" was replaced with "TELEVISION."
FX/SFX: The zooming out of the "M", the glowing letters, the flash, the "Big M".
Cheesy Factor: All Eighties 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 calm synthesizer jingle.
- Sometimes, the opening theme starts over it.
- Sometimes, it is silent.
- On Pulp Fiction, the theme fades out on the third-last note.
- 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, it's now uncommon, bordering on rare. Examples with this are recent releases of Sling Blade and Pulp Fiction. 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). However, newer prints have the 5th logo instead. 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, as 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). Also appears on early U.S. prints of Princess Mononoke, while later prints use the next logo and the 2017 DVD uses the GKIDS logo. The television version appears at the end of syndicated airings of Miramax movies.
4th Logo (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 New York City's 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 might see the World Trade Center towers. This was animated three years before the events of September 11, 2001.
- From 1998 until 2004, the logo was shot in 35mm. From 2005-08, a digitally-shot version was used.
- 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.
- There is a version of the anniversary variant where "20TH ANNIVERSARY" is smaller. It can be seen on a couple of films released in 1999.
- 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 was slightly revised due to the events of 9/11 (even though it occurred several years earlier), with the left tower being moved to the edge and the right tower being 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 2007-08 such as The Queen.
Closing Title: The print logo.
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 later prints of Shaolin Soccer, it uses the shortened theme from the next logo, due to a plastering error.
Availability: Uncommon. Seen on releases from 1998 to 2008, and while it was also used to plaster older Miramax logos, this was no longer the case now that the next logo does the honors. 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.
5th Logo (December 25, 2008-2018)
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 second half of the logo.
- Starting in 2011 with The Debt, the word "FILMS" is omitted.
- Both of these versions (particularly the latter) plaster over older Miramax logos on new releases of their films.
Closing Title: Same as the previous logo.
FX/SFX: Marvelous CGI. 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.
- The shortened version have the abridged version of it's music.
- 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 last film to use its normal logo), the opening song "All by Myself" starts after the music ended, and it carries to the Working Title logo, leading to the opening.
Availability: Common. It first appeared on Doubt, and can be seen on both newer features and newer prints of older films. The opening logo also appears on more recent prints of In Search of Santa, despite earlier prints not having any logo. Oddly, the short version is also seen on Disney Movies Anywhere's version of Mickey Mouse in "Runaway Brain", while the standard Movies Anywhere print removes it.
Nicknames: "The Buildings III", "The City III", "Aurora Miramaxius"
Logo: We start off with a blue aurora at night in the Hudson Valley, which becomes the outline of the "R". The hole in the "R" pans across the landscape below, followed by the first "M" which illuminates. The text "MIRAMAX", which is dark blue, then starts to slowly come together, illuminating as it comes together. Once the text is fully formed and finished, the byline "a beIN MEDIA GROUP COMPANY" then fades underneath the word "MAX".
- 2018-2020: "A beIN MEDIA GROUP COMPANY"
- 2020: "A beIN MEDIA GROUP AND VIACOMCBS COMPANY"
Variant: There is a shorter version, which skips the first pan across the "R".
Trivia: The logo was animated by MOCEAN.
FX/SFX: Amazing CGI animation!
Music/Sounds: A four note somber theme, or the opening soundtrack of the movie.
Availability: Current. The full length version made its first appearance on Halloween (2018) and is expected to appear on newer Miramax films such as The Gentlemen. The shorter version appears on Netflix releases such as The Perfection.