Miramax Films' chief Daniel Battsek out
Daniel Battsek, head of Disney's specialty movie label Miramax Films, is being forced out of his job after a series of flops failed to turn around the struggling company whose brighter moments included such prestige titles as "No Country For Old Men," "The Queen" and "Doubt."
Earlier this month, Disney slashed 70% of Miramax's workforce, to 20 people, reduced the number of movies it will now release to just three a year and folded much of its key marketing and distribution operations into its own studio. Battsek was noticeably absent attending the London Flm Festival while most of his team was being pink-slipped.
Now, by the end of January, Disney will shut down Miramax's New York headquarters and its Los Angeles office and maintain a small dedicated staff at its Burbank lot.
Battsek, who was hand-picked to run Miramax four years ago by then-Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook (who also recently was ousted) had a weak track record as of late with such misses as "The Boys Are Back," Mike Judge's "Extract" and "Cheri" starring Michelle Pfeiffer."With the change in direction at Miramax, we have reached a mutual agreement with Daniel Battsek that he will leave his post as president, effective January 2010," Disney's new movie chairman Rich Ross said in a statement.
Battsek had worked for the Disney organization for 18 years, mostly in the studio's international operation in London.
Disney did not name a replacement for Battsek.
-- Claudia Eller
Photo: Exiting Miramax President Daniel Battsek, left, with former Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook in 2007. Credit: Kevin Winters/Getty Images.