PREVIOUS…BREAKING…4:52 PM PT: I’m told that DreamWorks will shortly be announcing that it has made a four-year output agreement with eOne, with that company releasing DreamWorks product in the UK and Benelux. The arrangement begins with Starbuck, which stars Vince Vaughn and shoots in October. This will be the first of several deals after DreamWorks aligned with Mister Smith in an effort to be more hands on in arranging distribution in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Disney distributes in North America, Latin America, Asia, Russia and Australia. DreamWorks partner Stacey Snider was at the Toronto Film Festival, and I believe one of her missions was to meet potential distribution partners. This deal was put in place by Mister Smith’s David Garrett and DreamWorks COO Jeff Small.
Now, Reliance fully finances all of DreamWorks films, but this offshore effort will result in advances on films. While DreamWorks reupped its financing deal with Reliance that would cover three to five movies each year, getting offshore advances should allow DreamWorks the cash flow to make more films if Snider and partner Steven Spielberg choose to do so. It also gives them a more hands-on relationship in the foreign releases of their films, which can only help performance. Upcoming DreamWorks films include the Steven Spielberg-directed Robopocalypse with Chris Hemsworth starring (that isn’t part of this arrangement because the film’s foreign is being handled by Fox International) and an adaptation of the vidgame Need For Speed, among others.
LONDON/TORONTO/LOS ANGELES – September 17, 2012 – Entertainment One (“eOne”) is pleased to announce that it has entered a four-year output agreement with DreamWorks Studios (“DreamWorks”) to distribute the company’s films in all media across the UK and Benelux.
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider, Jeff Small and the innovative DreamWorks team in two of eOne’s core territories. It’s a momentous opportunity to be alongside such esteemed partners and broaden our international slate with top-quality commercial films for years to come. This significant deal aligns so very well with eOne’s distribution infrastructure around the globe. We’re thrilled that our multi-territory strategy continues to attract the best in the business,” said Patrice Theroux, eOne’s President, Filmed Entertainment.
The first film under the agreement with eOne will be the remake of Starbuck, starring Vince Vaughn, which begins principal photography in October 2012 for release in 2013. Jeff Small, DreamWorks’ President and COO, and eOne’s Patrice Theroux brokered the deal via David Garrett’s international licensing and distribution company Mister Smith Entertainment, who handle DreamWorks’ films in Europe, Africa and The Middle East. DreamWorks’ domestic distributor, The Walt Disney Company, will continue to handle North America, Latin America, Asia, Russia and Australia. Reliance continues to finance production of DreamWorks’ films and hold distribution rights in India.
“On behalf of Steven and Stacey, we are so excited to be in business with the amazing team at eOne. They are an industry leader in the UK and Benelux and we know our films will be handled with the utmost skill and creativity by the eOne marketing and distribution teams,” said Jeff Small, DreamWorks’ President and COO.
DreamWorks Studios was formed in 2009 and is a partnership between industry-toppers Steven Spielberg, Stacey Snider and The Reliance ADA Group. Academy Award® winning Spielberg is among the industry’s most influential filmmakers, helming such blockbusters as Jaws, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones franchise and the upcoming Lincoln. Prior to joining DreamWorks, Snider served as Chairman of Universal Pictures, where she oversaw all domestic and international business units of Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Universal Home Video. During Snider’s tenure at Universal, she was responsible for the origination of successful franchises such as The Bourne series, The Mummy series and The Fast and the Furious series. The Reliance ADA Group is one of India’s largest conglomerates and in the past several years has entered the filmed entertainment space both as a production studio and as a strategic investor in companies such as IM Global and Lava Bear Films, with which eOne also has partnerships.