Second Acts

Harvey Weinstein’s Last Chance

Has Harvey Weinstein lost the Midas touch? His “vintage Harvey chutzpah” may have been tempered, but the controversial producer says he’s refocusing. The Weinstein Company has released about 70 films since it opened in 2005, and many of them have underperformed: 13 took in less than $100,000 at box offices, and the company has also been bogged down by litigation over Project Runway. In a lengthy profile, The New York Times reports backers of the company are getting anxious. The company’s identity crisis may come from the slowdown of the DVD market, but also from a string of bad investments, such as those in fashion label Halston and A Small World, a “MySpace for millionaires.” In this effort to establish a conglomerate, Weinstein admits he lost his focus on film: “What happened was, I got more fascinated by these other businesses and I figured, ‘Making movies, I can do that in my sleep.’…I thought I could build the company and delegate authority, and that’s where it went wrong.” Now, Weinstein says he’s going back to what he knows. Sounding a bit “like a married man lamenting a fling,” Weinstein has a simple message about his film career: “I’m going to just do this and nothing else.”