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The Private Equity Grindhouse

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The Weinsteins are starting a $285mm film fund with an Asian fetish. Along with $15mm of Weinstein blood money (every time Uma Thurman kills a Japanese teenager we get $50 bucks!), Goldman is set to raise $245mm in debt and $25mm in equity for the fund. The goal of the fund is to back 31 Asian-themed releases in the next six years, and it's identified up and comers like Jackie Chan to be in some of these movies.
The Weinsteins, never ones to back away in the face of certain defeat (a quality they liken to the Spartans, a huge market success), are completely ignoring domestic box-office trends. From Bloomberg:

The five films distributed by Weinstein Co. this year, including ``Grindhouse,'' a thriller about a stalker from directors Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, have taken in $21 million, compared with $133.4 million from nine releases during the same period in 2006, according to Box Office Mojo.

The upside: growth in the Asian film industry. The film industry is expecting 5% annual growth over the next 3 years, with Asia as a key driver in a market expected to generate over $100bn by 2010.
Weinsteins Plan $285 Million Film Fund for Asia, Hire Goldman – [Bloomberg]