DreamWorks, Universal Ink Deal in Studio Love Triangle
After ongoing negotiation, DreamWorks and Universal have signed a seven-year distribution deal. The pact effectively settles Paramount's divorce from Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider and lets the producing pair begin a new endeavor without sacrificing the capital to do it — or burning any industry bridges.
The two DreamWorks honchos recently stepped away from their Paramount relationship to partner with India's Reliance Big Entertainment, which will distribute the company's films on its home turf and has financed the new joint venture.
A few notable details of the deal seem to be win-win for all studios involved, and keep Paramount in the loop. Universal is plunking down $150 million (with no bidding war) for the rights to distribute DreamWorks films and collecting an eight percent fee per film — which is on par with what Paramount gets for the DreamWorks Animation movies, says Variety.
Paramount, however, retains a wide swath of rights, starting with plans to distribute a handful of DreamWorks projects through 2009. Plus, the studio can co-finance and co-distribute 15-20 films that were developed with DreamWorks during the company's three-year relationship with Paramount. And the icing on the Hollywood cake? The studio also retains rights to sequels and remakes for all the DreamWorks projects it has distributed or will distribute.
Spielberg and Snider, meanwhile get to move on with a fresh cash infusion of $550 mil from Reliance, and another $700 to come from JPMorgan by year's end.
Is the super-producing pair making a smart move? Do you think everyone's winning a piece of the movie-making pie? Weigh in.