Miramax Steps Out for a Sad Little Swan Song

It's a season for endings and beginnings and new beginnings and final endings and a reboot or two. Today's trades make Hollywood look like one of its own over-handled franchises.

• What may be Miramax's last great premiere took place last night at the AFI Festival, celebrating the debut of Everybody's Fine, the news dramedy starring Robert De Niro, and the company appears to be going out with something less than a roar. There were early hopes that the film might give Miramax — and De Niro — one last Oscar hurrah. HItfix reports however, that "the film a mess in so many ways that neither the legendary actor or the stars who play his children — Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale — can save it." [Hitfix]

• The natives are getting restless and the drumbeat grows ever louder for the NBC/Universal Comcast deal. In their quarterly earnings reports, Comcast reported their profits were up 22 percent, bringing to a crescendo pleas that they just go ahead and buy NBC already and end our long showbiz-wide nightmare of suspense. [Variety]

• At the other end of the spectrum, Time-Warner was the beneficiary of low expectations. Its profits fell 38 percent last quarter, which remarkably was above expectations and led the company to raise its earnings projections for the year. [Hollywood Reporter]

• There may be signs of life in that old DVD market yet. The Wrap reports that after the huge success of the Transformers 2 DVD release, analysts are optimistic about the upcoming crop of blockbuster home releases to fuel strong sales. [The Wrap]

• The American Film Market, where US independent filmmakers peddle their wares for international distributors, opened yesterday and Variety saw hopes that the expo may be coming out of the doldrums it has been in in recent years. In addition to a line-up of films made by and featuring some heavy-hitters, Variety says the worldwide success of a handful of indie films — including Slumdog Millionaire — has created a more favorable climate. [Variety]

Gerard Butler will star in the directorial debut of actor Ralph Fiennes, a modern adaptation of Shakespeare's Coriolanus. [Hollywood Reporter]