Movies

Dreamworks, Walt Disney stitch distribution pact

MUMBAI: After the termination of the distribution pact with Universal Studios last week, DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg has moved into newer pastures to churn out the much-needed cash required to finance, market and distribute the Oscar-winning director‘s forthcoming slate in partnership with Reliance Big Entertainment.

DreamWorks Studios has secured a deal with Walt Disney Company. Under the terms, Disney will market and distribute at least six live-action films coming out of the Studio’s Touchstone Pictures banner each year. The first project from the production basket will be released sometime in 2010.


Reliance, a 50:50 partner with DreamWorks in a newly created company, will get to distribute these movies in India.


Under the new agreement, Disney will also provide a bridge financing loan to DreamWorks to match up to the $350 million coming in as equity from Reliance ADAG‘s pocket.


Disney stepped in after Dreamworks and Universal Studios axed their distribution pact signed last year following disagreements over financing.


The deal will help Disney boost its annual movie slate without incurring further financial risk. Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said, "Spielberg has made some of the biggest films of all time and continues to be one of the great icons of our industry. Thus, his motion pictures will be the perfect compliment to the already robust slate of Disney."






Last year, post the DreamWorks Studios-Paramount break up, Spielberg partnered with Reliance Big Entertainment to build a $1.5 billion company that would finance 32 movies over six years.


However, stung by the ongoing economic recession bug, the funding would now be raised in various legs. JPMorgan Chase & Co is arranging a $350 million debt within three months. Reliance will put in a similar amount as equity.

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