The Walt Disney Co. (nyse: DIS - news - people ) on Monday named Daniel Battsek, 47, president of Miramax Films. Miramax produced such Academy Award-winning movies as daters' favorite Shakespeare in Love, gats-and-taps adaptation Chicago and the lengthy The English Patient.
The studio was founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who sold it to Disney in 1993. The cineaste siblings continued to run the studio with a certain autonomy even if occasionally going against the entertainment and media giant's grain—and therein lay the tale.
Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner's management style and a series of questionable decisions took its toll on the Weinstein-Disney relationship. Problems included Disney's angst when the siblings backed Cold Mountain after partner MGM backed out. The Civil War melodrama was a box-office bomb. The strife worsened in 2004 when Eisner and Harvey Weinstein fought over Michael Moore's "docutainment" film Fahrenheit 9/11. The CEO banned Miramax from distributing the movie but permitted the duo to buy it back; weighed in the documentary genre, the film was a sleeper hit.