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Paramount, DreamWorks Split

7 Oct, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

The split between Paramount Pictures and DreamWorks SKG was finalized Oct. 5, clearing the way for DreamWorks to start anew with India’s Reliance BIG Entertainment as a financing partner.

The Associated Press reported that DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg was expected to announce a new distribution partner as soon as this week, with Universal Studios expected to get the nod.

“We have had a great run with the DreamWorks team both creatively and financially. In particular, it has been a true honor working closely with a storyteller of Steven's talent and stature,” said Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, in a joint press release. “We are also grateful to David and Stacey for their exceptional leadership, creative talent and many contributions to our partnership over the past few years. We look forward to building on our joint successes as Paramount plans for the future.”

The separation agreement has Reliance BIG Entertainment taking the reins on as many as 20 film projects owned by Paramount. Paramount would have the option to co-finance and co-distribute those films, and reportedly has the option to co-finance and co-distribute new DreamWorks movies through 2009.

“Brad is a friend and I am pleased to be able to continue to work with him and his team with whom we have shared many successes,” Spielberg said. “We have enjoyed a productive creative and business collaboration with Brad, Paramount and Viacom over the past few years and are enthusiastic about extending the relationship for many years to come. And I have a very special thanks to David Geffen for his far-reaching vision that has made it possible for me to steer this new course. His advice and wisdom have always been right on the money. He is a friend for life.”

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