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Post by eddievalient » February 6th, 2009, 8:54 pm

Stop the madness! Disney is already huge and most of what they're churning out now is garbage (Hannah Montana, I'm looking at you). Dreamworks doesn't need to demote themselves to that.
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Post by Neal » February 6th, 2009, 10:49 pm

It's just distribution and it's just live-action. Disney probably wouldn't be able to change the film's contents much (if at all) so it's not a big deal.
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Post by Darkblade » February 6th, 2009, 11:05 pm

I am worried about this...It wont effect the animation departments{Would it??? :shock: }

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Post by Neal » February 6th, 2009, 11:06 pm

No. DreamWorks Animation is a separate company - it spun-off from DreamWorks (the live-action division) years ago and is still happily under the Paramount distribution banner.
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Post by Darkblade » February 6th, 2009, 11:08 pm

Phew...Thank heavens... speaking of dreamworks animation they seem to be running out ideas...

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Post by Neal » February 6th, 2009, 11:09 pm

To 'run out of ideas' wouldn't they have had to have had some in the first place?
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Post by Darkblade » February 6th, 2009, 11:12 pm

What I mean Neal is that the movies of Dreamworks animation seem to be getting tiring... Sherk goes fourth, Madagascar 3, uggh whats with all the sequels? Come on....Monsters and aliens looks like a cheesy rip of off old monster movies.

the only movies Im looking forward to are Crood awakening and How to train your dragon....In my opioion I think dreamworks was better when they had Aardman with them...

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Post by Neal » February 6th, 2009, 11:15 pm

What I meant was DreamWorks sucks. Period. ;)
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Post by eddievalient » February 6th, 2009, 11:49 pm

Personally, I'm looking forward to Monsters vs Aliens, the first time I've been excited about a dreamworks cartoon in years.
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Post by Neal » February 6th, 2009, 11:50 pm

The minute I saw (in the trailer) one of the characters photocopy their butt as a way to get into a secret briefing room, I hated it.
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Post by James » February 7th, 2009, 1:59 am

An interesting update from the Deadline Hollywood site:
More Disney synergy is that Spielberg has tremendous interest in the theme parks business and its creative possibilities

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Post by Once Upon A Dream » February 7th, 2009, 5:28 am

eddievalient wrote:Stop the madness! Disney is already huge and most of what they're churning out now is garbage (Hannah Montana, I'm looking at you). Dreamworks doesn't need to demote themselves to that.
I agree that Disney are big enough and don't DreamWorks and I really hope that DreamWorks will never move to Disney,this wrong.
And by the way-Hannah Montana is actually about to be gone,this the last season and the movie will be the end because of both Disney and Miley who wants to get done with it so in 2010 she won't be here.
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Post by Ben » February 7th, 2009, 4:00 pm

Wow...I don't check in for a day and <I>this</I> happens!

Naturally, DreamWorks Animation is a separate company whose films are tied to Paramount distribution until 2012 (if I recall correctly). So they'll potter along nicely without any interference.

Likewise, the DreamWorks live-action studio would also be free from Disney tampering <I>unless</I> they went in 50/50 on any given project, but then again that's always been the deal with DreamWorks' half and half films such as the ones it made with Paramount or Warner Bros.

That being the case, Disney still wouldn't be able to dictate terms on a release, so DWs retains their autonomy, just like Pixar (though of course not <I>owned</I> by Disney...DWs would still presumably be free to walk away, break the contact or leave when it expires).

HOWEVER...there <I>would</I> be the case of where DreamWorks Animation film's go once their Paramount contact is up and the natural place would be the House of Mouse. Again, this does not mean that Disney would have <I>any</I> say in DWA's films or content, but that they would then be free to use them - just like Pixar before they got bought outright - in the theme parks, which is what I think Spielberg is interested in.

This is all highly intriguing stuff and does put a completely new spin on both DreamWorks the live-action Spielberg studio, and DreamWorks the animation studio, which <I>could</I>, long term, end up with its shareholders deciding that a buyout would be the better thing. At the moment, Disney can't touch DWA's properties but if Spielberg's DWs do sign with them and DWA follows, then at least Disney would be able to dictate distribution slots: after all, they're not going to allow the kind of Thanksgiving stand off that we've had in the past if they're distributing their product: Disney would be on the same percentage of the gross as Paramount, and would want to see a return on that.

Very interesting times. More from The Hollywood Reporter:
<B>DreamWorks out at Uni, talking to Disney</B>
New pact expected to feature big financing component, by Carl DiOrio
Feb 6, 2009, 01:46 PM ET
Updated: Feb 6, 2009, 06:30 PM ET


DreamWorks has decided to follow the money.

The newly private studio has nixed its seven-year film distribution agreement with Universal after the studio rejected a demand to change its proposed $150 million contingency loan to DreamWorks into a $250 million financing with a delayed recoupment.

DreamWorks is now buttoning up a distribution deal with Disney, which had been a lead suitor for the output rights before Universal struck its pact with DreamWorks in October.

The Disney deal is expected to feature some sort of big financing for DreamWorks, which has been hard-pressed for start-up capital. Universal acknowledged the developments in a brief statement Friday, saying execs have been unable to finalize terms of their preliminary distribution agreement with the Steven Spielberg-led DreamWorks.

"Universal Pictures has ended discussions with DreamWorks for a distribution agreement," the studio said. "Over the past several weeks, DreamWorks has demanded material changes to previously agreed-upon terms. It is clear that DreamWorks' needs and Universal's business interests are no longer in alignment. We wish them luck in their pursuit of funding and distribution of their future endeavors."

There was no sign that the parties had been at loggerheads over the 8% distribution fee that DreamWorks had agreed to pay Universal to handle four to six films a year starting in 2010. The most direct source of aggravation appeared to involve the pay TV window for those films.

DreamWorks had hoped to lock into an output deal with HBO. But the premium channel decided to pass, and DreamWorks began dickering with Universal over alternate arrangements.

Details of prints & advertising arrangements also triggered difficult negotiations between representatives of cash-shy DreamWorks and increasingly frustrated execs at Universal.

Until October, DreamWorks was owned by Paramount. But DreamWorks brass including Spielberg and Stacey Snider used exit clauses in their executive contracts to bolt Paramount with the aim of resurrecting DreamWorks as a private company.

Reliance Big Entertainment of India agreed to invest $550 million in equity financing -- provided JP Morgan Securities could construct a loan syndication of a similar or higher amount. The investment bank has since lowered its target to $325 million, and RBE has done likewise with its immediate commitment to DreamWorks.

To get a flow of projects into the new company, Spielberg and RBE recently agreed to split a $26.5 million payment to Paramount to secure rights to 17 film projects DreamWorks execs had in development on Melrose Avenue. Spielberg previously provided a $10 million cash infusion to DreamWorks to get the new company launched.

Meantime, Disney offers a particularly good fit as a prospective distribution partner for DreamWorks, as the Burbank studio has markedly reduced its own film slate and thus has plenty of room in its distribution pipeline.

In fact, overhead on distribution infrastructure is so pricey that Disney arguably needs a big output deal of the DreamWorks sort to help monetize its assets appropriately. In light of that, some suggest the studio might even accept a distribution fee slightly lower than 8% on DreamWorks releases.

Well-placed sources said DreamWorks and Disney reps have been meeting for weeks.
I'm particularly impressed that Spielberg seems to have been using some of his own money - not a lot in terms of the overall financing numbers needed for the restructuring, but enough that was needed at the right time. I never really felt he was <I>truly</I> on board with DreamWorks Mark I but this seems to confirm that he's had a re-think and is perhaps more in tune with making DreamWorks Mark II a company to be really reckoned with. It's quite exciting, in a way...

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Post by Rodney » February 7th, 2009, 5:44 pm

Off the top of your head, can anyone think of a Dreamworks franchise? (not animated).

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Post by Ben » February 7th, 2009, 6:19 pm

Transformers, but that's not their property and it's a co-pro with Paramount.

I believe there was a potential second Disturbia in the Works (geddit?) but the Rear Window lawsuit has probably put an end to that.

They did Ring and Ring 2, but they were remakes. Ring 3 is on the way.

Road Trip and Euro Trip were "cousin" movies, not part of a series but from the same teams. A second Road Trip is on the way.

I know that Small Soldiers and Galaxy Quest were intended to lead to sequels but didn't quite make enough money to see development.

I wouldn't call any of them "major" franchises, but they do have the Meet The Parents/Fockers films, a third of which has been mooted for a while.


Sorry Rodney...for such a young and high profile production company, I have been keeping tabs on both aspects of DWs since they started, so these really were "off the top of my head".

But it's true that there's nothing there of a Pirates, Spider-Man or particularly studio sustaining franchise, which is why I think there is so much onus on the animation side to keep producing more of <I>anything</I> that makes money, especially the Shreks.

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