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DreamWorks Inks With Universal

14 Oct, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

The long-rumored distribution deal between DreamWorks and Universal Studios was made official this week, with Steven Spielberg’s and Stacey Snider’s newly financed operation inking a seven-year deal with their familiar distribution partner.

“We are delighted to be back in business with Steven and Stacey and the rest of their superb team,” said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal. “They are longtime friends of ours and terrific moviemakers. We are honored to be part of the next chapter of their success.”

The deal ends a two-year relationship with Paramount, and brings DreamWorks’ properties to a familiar place (Snider was once chairwoman for Universal Pictures).

A Universal spokeswoman confirmed the studio’s home entertainment and digital delivery support for DreamWorks’ projects, the first of which should be released by 2010. DreamWorks will pay Universal an 8% distribution fee under the agreement.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the DreamWorks team back to Universal and our long history of success together will continue,” said Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios. “As always, it is an honor to do business with Steven Spielberg, one of the most prolific directors of our generation and our long-time friend and colleague Stacey Snider, who is one of the finest film executives in our business.”

David Geffen, one of the co-founders of DreamWorks SKG in 1994, helped negotiate the deal, but will not be joining Spielberg and Snider in the new venture, which is launching with the help of more than $500 million from Reliance Big Entertainment in India.

“Universal has always been my home base so this agreement starts a new chapter in what has been a long and successful association,” Spielberg said. “While it feels great to come home again, it feels like I never left, and Stacey and I look forward to working once again with our friends and colleagues, old and new. It’s an exciting time for us and we want it to be equally as productive and rewarding for Universal.”

Both Disney and Fox were also in the running to be DreamWorks new partner for distribution.

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