Founded by the brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein in 1979, and named by combining the first names of their parents Max and Miriam, the company was originally created in order to distribute independent films which were deemed commercially unviable at the major studios.
The company acquired a number of films which did extraordinarily well financially and the company was one of the leaders of the independent film revolution of the 1990s. In 1993 Miramax was purchased for $75 million by the Walt Disney Company. Harvey and Bob Weinstein still run Miramax independently of other Disney companies, though Disney has the final say on what Miramax can release. Also, Disney's Buena Vista Home Entertainment divison releases Miramax output.
On March 30, 2005, Disney exercised an option to void the Weinsteins' contracts. The company's film studio consortium, Buena Vista Motion Pictures Group will assume control of Miramax, which will have a smaller annual production budget. The Weinsteins have announced that they intend to start a new film production company, but the Miramax name will remain with the film studio owned by Disney.