Sep 04, 2015

    DreamWorks to end tie-up with Disney


    STEVEN Spielberg's DreamWorks film studio plans to part ways with Disney when their distribution tie-up ends in a year's time, an industry source told Agence France-Presse on Wednesday.

    Trade reports suggest that Spielberg is looking to negotiate a new partnership with more favourable terms, boosted by the runaway success of Jurassic World, of which he was executive producer.

    Universal - the Hollywood studio behind the blockbuster dinosaur series - is being tipped as Spielberg's likely new home by both the Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

    According to an industry insider who did not wish to be named, it is too soon to say who will be distributing DreamWorks' production after the Disney deal ends on Aug 16 next year.

    But the source told AFP that DreamWorks, which Spielberg helped found in 1994, feels out of step with the Disney model and its focus on big, tentpole films such as the new Star Wars instalments or Pixar's animated mega-hit Inside Out.

    Disney's focus - exemplified by the acquisition in recent years of Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar - is firmly on movies that can be spun off into lucrative video games, amusement parks, branded toys and knick-knacks.

    DreamWorks, meanwhile, has been focusing on smaller, adult-oriented movies such as The Help.

    DreamWorks signed a multiple-year distribution contract with Disney in 2009, after splitting from Paramount.

    The last movie to be distributed under the deal is expected to be Spielberg-directed The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), adapted from the 1982 Roald Dahl novel and slated for release on July 1 next year.

    Spielberg's hand was strengthened in Hollywood by this year's Jurassic World - the third-highest grossing film in history, generating US$1.6 billion (S$2.3 billion) in box-office takings.