DreamWorks and Disney announced shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific time today that the two studios have reached a deal in which Disney will distribute six movies a year from DreamWorks under the Mouse House’s Touchstone Pictures banner. The full press release is below, full of glowing praise for the other’s company from Disney and Spielberg and Co., but sadly it leaves out most of the juicy details. For those, we turn to The Wall Street Journal.
WSJ: In exchange for handling the costs of printing and marketing DreamWorks movies world-wide, Disney would collect a distribution fee of at least 8% from DreamWorks, according to people familiar with the details.
DreamWorks will also get access to programming opportunities on Starz Entertainment, the cable channel that already buys rights to air several Disney films a year.
Ok, none of this is that juicy. The distribution fee is the same one DreamWorks had with Universal, illustrating that the studio’s financial difficulties did not keep it from being able to get a low fee. And the Starz deal was expected. But it’s good to know the additional terms of the deal.
It’s still unknown whether DreamWorks was able to get a $150 million loan or line of credit, like they had wanted from Universal, from Disney. The WSJ said Sunday night that Disney would most likely pay up, but Sharon Waxman claims that the deal does not include any equity commitment from Disney.
BURBANK, California, February 9 /PRNewswire/ — The Walt Disney Studios has agreed to enter into an exclusive long-term distribution arrangement with filmmaker and DreamWorks Studios co-founder Steven Spielberg, and partner Stacey Snider, chief executive officer of DreamWorks, to distribute all upcoming live-action motion pictures produced by DreamWorks under their partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment, part of The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.
Under the terms of this arrangement, Disney will handle distribution and marketing for approximately six DreamWorks films each year. The first DreamWorks motion picture to be released under the Touchstone Pictures banner is scheduled to hit theatres in 2010.
DreamWorks principals Spielberg and Snider partnered with Reliance BIG Entertainment last fall to form a new motion picture company. In addition to being a partner in DreamWorks, Reliance will also distribute the new company’s projects in India.
Commenting on the announcement, Cook said, “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. 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.”
Bob Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, added, “We are tremendously pleased to join forces with Steven Spielberg, whose artistic vision and commitment to quality filmmaking are legendary. DreamWorks has had a great creative and commercial track record under the leadership of Steven and Stacey Snider and I am delighted they’re now associated with Disney.”
Steven Spielberg said, “Disney is the birthplace of imagination and has always been as close to the worldwide audience as any company ever has. I am so pleased that industry leaders like Bob Iger and Dick Cook reached out to become our distribution partner. This is a major step forward for us and Reliance.”
Stacey Snider added, “Under Bob Iger and Dick Cook’s leadership, The Walt Disney Company represents the highest standard of quality in our industry. Everyone at DreamWorks is thrilled to be embarking upon this new and exciting partnership and we look forward to our future with their great team.”