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DreamWorks SKG (1994)

DreamWorks Studios

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  Summary  

DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming. It has produced or distributed more than ten films with box-office grosses totalling more than $100 million each.

DreamWorks began in 1994 as an ambitious attempt by media moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen to create a new Hollywood studio of which they own 72%. In December 2005, the founders agreed to sell the studio to Viacom, parent of Paramount Pictures. The sale was completed in February 2006. In 2008, DreamWorks announced its intention to end its partnership with Paramount and signed a $1.5 billion deal to produce films with India's Reliance ADA Group. Reliance provided $325M of equity to fund recreating Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studio as an independent entity. Clark Hallren, former Managing Director of the Entertainment Industries group of J.P. Morgan Securities and Alan J. Levine of J.P. Morgan Entertainment Advisors led the Reliance team in structuring the capital and business plan for the company. The movie studio is 50% owned by Reliance which is led by Anil Ambani.

DreamWorks' animation arm was spun off in 2004 into DreamWorks Animation SKG. Its films were distributed worldwide by Paramount, but the animation studio remained independent of Paramount/Viacom.

  Biography  

The company was founded following Katzenberg's resignation from Disney Enterprises Inc. in 1994. At the suggestion of a friend of Spielberg, the two made an agreement with long-time Katzenberg collaborator David Geffen to start their own studio. The studio was officially founded on October 12, 1994 with financial backing of $33 million from each of the three main partners and $500 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

In 1998, The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lawsuit against DreamWorks for trademark infringement on Dreamwerks Production Group, Inc., a company mostly specializing in Star Trek Conventions.

In 1998, DreamWorks released its first full-length animated feature, Antz.

In 1999, 2000 and 2001, DreamWorks won three consecutive Academy Awards for Best Picture for American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind .

DreamWorks Interactive is a computer and video game developer founded in 1995, as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG. On February 24, 2000, Electronic Arts announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Interactive from DreamWorks and merged it with EA Pacific and Westwood Studios. DreamWorks Interactive became EA Los Angeles .

DreamWorks Records is the company's record label, the first project of which was George Michael's Older album. The first band signed to this label was the "eels" who released their debut album "Beautiful Freak" in 1997. The record company never lived up to expectations, though, and was sold in October 2003 to Universal Music Group, which operated the label as DreamWorks Nashville. That label was shut down in 2005 when its flagship artist, Toby Keith, departed to form his own label.

The studio has had its greatest financial success with movies, specifically animated movies. DreamWorks Animation teamed up with Pacific Data Images in 1996, emerging as the main competitor to Pixar in the age of computer-generated animation and one of the few competitors to Disney in creating traditionally animated feature films. DreamWorks Animation has produced some of the highest grossing animated hits of all time, such as Antz , Shrek , its sequels Shrek 2 , Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After ; Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron , Madagascar , its sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa , Over the Hedge , Flushed Away , Bee Movie , Kung Fu Panda , its sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2 , Monsters Vs. Aliens , How to Train Your Dragon , and Megamind , Puss in Boots . Based on the films' success, DreamWorks Animation has spun off as its own publicly traded company.

In recent years, DreamWorks has scaled back. It stopped plans to build a high-tech studio, sold its music division, and has only produced a few television series, Las Vegas, Carpoolers and On the Lot, for example.

David Geffen admitted that DreamWorks had come close to bankruptcy twice. Under Katzenberg's watch, the studio suffered a $125 million loss on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, and also overestimated the DVD demand for Shrek 2. In 2005, out of their two large budget pictures, The Island bombed at the domestic box office, while War of the Worlds was produced as a joint effort with Paramount which was the first to reap the profits.

In December 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures agreed to purchase the live-action studio. The deal was valued at approximately $1.6 billion, an amount that included about $400 million in debt assumptions. The company completed its acquisition on February 1, 2006.

On March 17, 2006, Paramount agreed to sell a controlling interest in the DreamWorks live-action library (pre-09/16/2005; DW Funding, LLC) to Soros Strategic Partners and Dune Entertainment II. The film library is valued at $900 million. Paramount retained the worldwide distribution rights to these films, as well as various ancillary rights, including music publishing, sequels and merchandising. This includes films that had been made by Paramount and DreamWorks (the music publishing rights were later licensed to Sony-ATV Music Publishing when that company acquired Paramount's Famous Music subdivision). The sale was completed on May 8, 2006.

On March 12, 2007, DreamWorks Animation announced it would release all of its films, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens , in stereoscopic 3D.

In June 2008, Variety reported that DreamWorks was looking for financing that would allow it to continue operations as an independent production company once its deal with Paramount ended later in the year. Most of the backing would come from an Indian investment firm called Reliance ADA Group. The DreamWorks trademarks are owned by DreamWorks Animation and the new company would need their approval to use the trademarks. In September 2008, it was reported by Variety that Dreamworks closed a deal with Reliance to create a stand-alone production company and end its ties to Paramount.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "DreamWorks", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.