Posted: Mon., Oct. 20, 2008, 12:56pm PT

Battsek: Miramax safe during crisis

Studio head says Disney dollars help company


Battsek
By Ali Jaafar
Variety

Miramax topper Daniel Battsek managed to get some respite from the financial turmoil on Wall Streetwhen he jetted in to his native London to deliver Monday's keynote speech at Film London's Production Finance Market.

Battsek mused on a number of topics during the lively session, including the impact of the global financial downturn, the challenges facing the U.S. specialty sector and the shifting sands of traditional models in the face of online distribution.

"It's an interesting time because people have tended to view the entertainment industry as gloriously immune to recession but it is a different world today then during the Great Depression with people able to get their escape without having to pay $10 at the box office," said Battsek in a reference to the impact of the Internet on auds' viewing habits . "As for Miramax most of our movies are financed by Disney so we have our financing in place. If we had been an independent (the financial crisis) would have had a major impact."

Battsek did point out that Miramax had already undergone a major re-structuring three years ago when he took over the helm from founding co-chiefs Bob and Harvey Weinstein.
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