DreamWorks is in Trouble, May Partner with Disney Instead?!
Did you ever think you'd see the day when DreamWorks and Disney would be working together? Wait, we mean Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks, not DreamWorks Animation. Back in October, DreamWorks officially ended their relations with Paramount and split from the company. They did so because they had received nearly half a billion in funding from an India based company called Reliance Big Entertainment and was asssured that Universal would partner with them instead. Bad news - Universal has pulled out of the distribution agreement. And we hear DreamWorks is secretly talking with Disney instead!
This news comes from the always reliable industry insider Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood. Apparently due to the recession, DreamWorks didn't get all the initial funding they needed from Reliance, and thus have tried to scramble to renegotiate their distribution deal with Universal to get things up to speed. Universal didn't like those changes and decided to cut it off before it got any worse. So when that happened, DreamWorks started talking with Disney instead. Disney, which had been an original suitor for a distribution deal, would provide P&A funds, pay-cable slots and possible production co-financing for six movies.
Since this news just hit today, DreamWorks hasn't had time to figure out what they're going to do, so we don't know if they'll renegotiate with Universal or end up going with Disney in the end. Nikki Finke even speculates that Disney may sell off Miramax in order to pull off a deal, since it sounds like they want a stake in DW. In an extreme scenario, we could see DreamWorks partnering with both Universal and Disney, but at that point, everything would be so complicated that we wouldn't even know where to begin in explaining it. For now, this is a very interesting and scary situation that DreamWorks and Steven Spielberg are in.
Reader Feedback - 8 Comments
Wow, Dreamworks is one of the best studios out there and truly f**ked themselves. I don't understand why they split from Paramount in the first place other than they thought INDY 4 did worse than they hoped and it did pretty damn well. Speilberg has some serious pull and if he can't get funding than who can? I don't understand how come DW Animated is effected but everything they touch seems to be turning into gold.
Ryan on Feb 6, 2009
I tried posting twice but for some reason it's not going through so here is the an article from Deadlinehollywooddaily that sums up what I was trying to post before. UPDATE: Sources tell me DreamWorks is on board with Ben Stiller's decision, though there were a lot of phone calls back and forth between Ben and Stacey Snider, and Ben and Steven Spielberg, asking him to stay. The two companies are still going to do some projects together, like Chicago 7 which Stiller may direct. But I'm told that Ben is moving his Red Hour production banner to Fox where he has many projects already in the pipeline (see below). The move follows Red Hour and DreamWorks having made big hit Blades Of Glory, not-so-much The Ruins, and budget buster Tropic Thunder. Right now, Dreamworks 2.0 has half the lender commitments it needs -- least $150 million of the first phase of the $325 million bank syndication before it can secure a matching contribution by biz partner Reliance. It's confident the other half will come in by March 31st. But that was much later than originally planned because of the worldwide financial crisis. I'd first heard back in December that Red Hour was thinking of moving to Fox. "It's all about projects and timing, and not about DreamWorks' financing," a Stiller insider tells me. Among Stiller's many comedy projects at 20th Century Fox are Night Of The Museum 2 (said to be funnier than the first, which went on to gross $574 million worldwide), Used Guys which Stiller is producing and potentially starring in, The Hardy Men which Stiller is producing and teams up Ben and Tom Cruise again as well as Ben and Museum director Shawn Levy, and a 20th TV pilot The Station which Stiller is exec producing and could direct. I also hear that Fox 2000 is negotiating to take over the Paramount project The Big Year, with Marley & Me's David Frankel directing and Stiller producing. It stars Steve Carell and Jack Black. With partner Stuart Cornfeld, Stiller set up his own production company coming off the huge success of There's Something About Mary a decade ago again for Fox where Red Hour first had a deal. Then it went with Mike DeLuca to New Line, and followed DeLuca to DreamWorks which reunited Stiller with Stacey Snider (Meet The Parents, etc). Red Hour has since added a 3rd partner, Jeremy Kramer. It's also made Zoolander, Duplex, Starsky & Hutch, and another hit for Fox, DodgeBall.-Deadlinehollywooddaily.com
Ryan on Feb 6, 2009
That sucks. DreamWorks is a quality studio, and I would hate to see them get screwed over by a Disney deal. Disney screws up everything except for Pixar, and that's only because Pixar had a little bit of leverage. If DreamWorks is in a bad way, and gets bought by Disney, they I will consider that their fatal shot.
Trey - Swollen Thumb Entertainment on Feb 6, 2009
Bloody sad. And Stiller can stay the F*** out of it. Jesus Christ!
Tim "Cloverfield" on Feb 6, 2009
did Spielberg meet Madoff?
avi on Feb 6, 2009
Buttons on Feb 7, 2009
I'm not surprised, they both want to produce more 3-D films, and this will only further their agenda.
790 on Feb 8, 2009
oh yeah i cant wait for shrek 4 hannah montana will voice princess fiona and the jonas brothers will voice the three pigs and shrek will be voiced by dylan sprouse oh yeah the movie will be epic EPIC FAIL screw disney serously everything disney do is make it shit i don't want dreamworks partner with disney disney has crappy shows back then and now
gasaggs on May 15, 2010
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