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Let the finger pointing over the perceived failure of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master begin!
Actually, I should say “let it continue!” In an earlier missive filed from Sundance, Harvey Weinstein admitted to marketing mistakes on the part of PTA’s screed against organized religions, saying he “just feel(s) bad for Megan Ellison on that.” Ellison, the wealthy founder of Annapurna Pictures, helped produce The Master, which Weinstein distributed. The movie has only earned $16 million in the States, and missed out on key Oscar nominations – including Picture, Director and Screenplay.
In the newest Vanity Fair issue, though, sources say the rift between Ellison and Weinstein – who collaborated on multiple movies including Killing Them Softly and Lawless in addition to The Master last year - has grown and deepened over time. According to The Playlist, the source confirms:
"Harvey told Megan that the film wasn’t doing well because PTA and the actors weren’t doing enough press. Now, that obviously doesn’t have much to do with it, but Harvey knows two things before he gets up in the morning: Megan thinks PTA is a god, and PTA isn’t going to do more press just because he’s asked. So that makes The Master’s receipts her fault. And she’s 25, so when he tells her that, she believes it. And then he tortures her about it.”
Weinstein has a reputation of being tough on people, but the line of people willing to thank him for their careers stretches just as long as the people who want to condemn the bullish studio executive for their failures. For the time being, though, Ellison appears to be out of the Harvey Weinstein business. David O. Russell allegedly tried to get the two to collaborate on a potential project, but she refused. Not that she won’t be busy. This year, Annapurna has new films from Wong Kar-Wai (The Grandmaster) and Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) reaching theaters, as well as the possibility of a fifth Terminator ever on the horizon. Just don’t expect any of those movies ever to be distributed by The Weinstein Company … at least, not in the near future.