Dreamworks and Disney are now a thing

by Joey Paur

Disney - DreamWorks

It looks like DreamWorks Pictures has got some game. The proposal must have been pretty damn excited because Disney said yes! They have an exclusive long-term distribution agreement with DreamWorks. I honestly think the two studios make a great couple, and wish them the best of luck. Here are the details.

Under the terms of the arrangement, Disney will handle distribution and marketing for six DreamWorks films each year through its Touchstone banner. As a result of the deal, Disney is expected to increase its annual output to 20 films -- a dramatic departure from its recent strategy to reduce its overall slate to around 12 to 15 pics per year.

The first DreamWorks pic, covered by the deal, will bow in 2010, though DreamWorks hasn't decided which pic it will move forward with first.

DreamWorks principals Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider partnered with Mumbai-based Reliance in the fall to form a new company and immediately hammered out, though never finalized, a distribution deal with Universal. The U deal fell apart Friday after the studio found out that DreamWorks was in negotiations with Disney.

"We're both thrilled and honored to be marketing and distributing all of DreamWorks' signature upcoming live-action motion pictures and to begin a new relationship with such respected colleagues as Steven, Stacey and their creative team at DreamWorks," Disney chairman Dick Cook said. "Steven has made some of the biggest and most loved films of all time and continues to be one of the great icons of our industry. Stacey has an impeccable reputation and a phenomenal track record for making a wide variety of quality films. Their motion pictures will be the perfect complement to the already robust slate of Disney and Touchstone films being made by Oren Aviv and his team."

As part of the deal, Disney will provide a loan to DreamWorks, which has had trouble raising money to match the Reliance commitment amid a worsening global credit crunch.

DreamWorks, which is expected to remain in their offices on the Universal lot, says it is halfway to raising $325 million it needs to take advantage of an additional $325 million from Reliance.

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