DreamWorks Studios, officially DW II Distribution Co., LLC
wikipedia | 2013-11-29 17:51

DreamWorks Studios, officially DW II Distribution Co., LLC, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, 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 (forming the SKG present on the bottom of the DreamWorks logo) 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. As of 2012 DreamWorks Animation's upcoming films will now be distributed by 20th Century Fox starting in 2013 with The Croods.
The company was founded following Katzenberg's resignation from The Walt Disney Company 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 DreamWorks Production Group, Inc., a company mostly specializing in Star Trek Conventions.The same year, 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 (the later two with Universal).
DreamWorks Interactive was 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 to form EA Los Angeles, now Danger Close Games.
DreamWorks Records was the company's record label, the first project of which was George Michael's Older album. The first band signed to this label was 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 (now known as PDI/DreamWorks) 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 (1998), The Prince of Egypt (1998), Chicken Run (2000), Shrek (2001), its sequels Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010); Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Shark Tale (2004), Madagascar (2005), its sequels, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012), Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005), Over the Hedge (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Bee Movie (2007), Kung Fu Panda (2008), its sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), How to Train Your Dragon (2010), Megamind (2010), and Puss in Boots (2011). 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 (2009), 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.Several private equity funds were approached for the financing including Blackstone Group, Fuse Global, TPG Capital. and several others. But all passed on the deal given their earlier understanding of the Hollywood markets. Then 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.
The DreamWorks logo features a young boy sitting on a crescent moon while fishing. The general idea for the logo was the brainchild of company co-founder Steven Spielberg, who originally wanted a computer-generated image, whereas Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren of Industrial Light and Magic suggested a hand-painted one. Muren then contacted a friend and fellow artist, Robert Hunt, to paint it. Hunt worked on both versions, for each of which his son William was cast as the model for the boy, and Spielberg liked the CGI one better. The music accompanying the logo to start live-action DreamWorks movies was specially composed by John Williams; the DreamWorks Animation logo has music from the Harry Gregson-Williams/John Powell score for Shrek.
The logo attached to feature films was made at ILM based on paintings by Hunt, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Films, Dave Carson and Clint Goldman.
On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks entered into a long-term, 30-picture distribution deal with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures by which the films will be released through the Touchstone Pictures banner over the next five years (2011-2015). This agreement is reported to have come after negotiations broke off with Universal Pictures just days earlier. However, this deal does not include Indian distribution rights, which will be handled by Reliance,nor does it include DreamWorks Animation, whose films will be distributed by 20th Century Fox from early 2013 to 2018. Also not included are sequels to live-action films released before the Paramount merger, or those released by Paramount themselves – Paramount retains the rights to these franchises, and two such sequels, Little Fockers, was released by Paramount internationally in December 2010 (Universal owns domestic rights) and Anchorman: The Legend Continues.
The broadcast and basic subscription cable television distribution rights to many DreamWorks films are owned by either Trifecta Entertainment and Media or Disney-ABC International Television (formerly known as Buena Vista International), depending on both content and region of license. In South Korea, CJ Entertainment has the rights to release all DreamWorks' films, except some co-productions (for example, Minority Report was distributed by Fox, Small Soldiers by Universal Studios, Evolution by Columbia Pictures, Saving Private Ryan by Paramount Pictures, and The Island by Warner Bros., due to these studios having owned the international rights to these films).
Formerly, United International Pictures, a joint venture of Paramount and Universal, released DreamWorks' films internationally (except South Korea).
In August 2012, DreamWorks formed a deal with Mister Smith Entertainment, a joint venture between Constantin Film and one of the founders of Summit Entertainment. Mister Smith will sell the distribution of DreamWorks films in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, while Disney will continue to distribute in North America, Australia, Russia, and some territories in Asia.Reliance will still distribute for India.Mister Smith made a four-year deal with Entertainment One for distribution in the United Kingdom and the Benelux countries. Other deals were made with Constantin Film for Germany/Austria/Switzerland, Nordisk Film for Scandinavia, and Italia Film for the Middle East.
Edwin R. Leonard, CTO of DreamWorks Animation, won a special achievement award at the 2008 Annies for driving their innovative work with Open Source Software and Linux.
For animated films, see DreamWorks Animation
Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Distribution
First film library spun off in DW Funding LLC and controlling interest sold to Soros Strategic Partners LP and Dune Entertainment II LLC. In February 2010, Viacom acquired the Soros/Dune stake. (The sale only included films released through September 16, 2005, the latest film in the package being Just Like Heaven.)

Title Release Date Notes Budget Gross
The Peacemaker September 26, 1997 First film by DreamWorks SKG $50 million $110,463,140
Amistad December 10, 1997 (co-production with HBO Films) $36 million $44,229,441
MouseHunt December 19, 1997   $38 million $122,417,389
Paulie April 17, 1998   $23,000,000 $26,875,268
Deep Impact May 8, 1998 (co-production with Paramount Pictures) $75 million $349,464,665
Small Soldiers July 10, 1998 (co-production with Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment) $40 million $54,682,547
Saving Private Ryan July 24, 1998 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Mutual Film Company) $70 million $481,840,909
Antz October 2, 1998 (co-production with Pacific Data Images) Dreamworks' first animated feature film. $105 million $171,757,863
Prince of Egypt, TheThe Prince of Egypt December 18, 1998   $70 million $218,613,188
In Dreams January 15, 1999 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment) $30 million $12,017,369
Forces of Nature March 19, 1999   $75,000,000 $93,888,180
The Love Letter May 21, 1999   $15 million $8,276,000
The Haunting July 23, 1999   $80,000,000 $177,311,151
American Beauty October 1, 1999 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. $15,000,000 $356,296,601
Galaxy Quest December 25, 1999   $45 million $90,683,916
Road to El Dorado, TheThe Road to El Dorado March 31, 2000   $95 million $76,432,727
Gladiator May 5, 2000 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios and Scott Free Productions) $103 million $457,640,427
Road Trip May 19, 2000   $16 million $119,754,278
Small Time Crooks May 19, 2000   $18 million $29,934,477
Chicken Run June 23, 2000 (co-production with Pathé and Aardman Animations) $45 million $224,834,564
What Lies Beneath July 21, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and ImageMovers) $100 million $291,420,351
Almost Famous September 13, 2000 (co-production with Columbia Pictures) $60 million $47,383,689
Meet the Parents October 6, 2000 (co-production with Universal Studios) $55 million $330,444,045
The Contender October 13, 2000 (co-production with Cinerenta Medienbeteiligungs KG) $9 million $17,872,723
The Legend of Bagger Vance November 3, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and Allied Filmmakers) $80,000,000 $39,459,427
Joseph: King of Dreams November 7, 2000      
Cast Away December 22, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and ImageMovers) $90,000,000 $429,632,142
An Everlasting Piece December 25, 2000 (co-production with Columbia Pictures)   $75,228
The Mexican March 2, 2001 (co-production with Newmarket Films) $57 million $66,845,033
Shrek May 18, 2001 Winner of the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. $60 million $484,409,218
Evolution June 8, 2001 (co-production with Columbia Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company) $80,000,000 $98,376,292
A.I. Artificial Intelligence June 26, 2001 (co-production with Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment) $100 million $235,926,552
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion August 24, 2001 (in association with VCL Communications GmbH) $26 million $18,914,307
The Last Castle October 19, 2001   $72 million $27,642,707
A Beautiful Mind December 21, 2001 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment) $60 million $313,542,341
The Time Machine March 8, 2002 (co-production with Warner Bros.) $80 million $123,729,176
Hollywood Ending May 3, 2002   $16,000,000 $14,839,383
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron May 24, 2002 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. $80,000,000 $122,563,539
Minority Report June 21, 2002 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment) $102 million $358,372,926
Road to Perdition July 12, 2002 (co-production with 20th Century Fox) $80 million $181,001,478
The Tuxedo September 27, 2002   $60 million $104,391,623
The Ring October 18, 2002   $48 million $249,348,933
Catch Me If You Can December 25, 2002 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment) $52 million $352,114,312
Biker Boyz January 31, 2003   $24 million $23,510,601
Old School February 21, 2003 (co-production with The Montecito Picture Company) $24 million $87,055,349
Head of State March 28, 2003   $35 million $38,620,484
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas July 2, 2003   $60 million $80,767,884
Seabiscuit July 25, 2003 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios, Spyglass Entertainment, and The Kennedy/Marshall Company) $87 million $148,336,445
Anything Else September 19, 2003   $18,000,00 $13,585,075
The Cat in the Hat November 21, 2003 (co-production with Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment) $109 million $133,960,541
House of Sand and Fog December 19, 2003   $16.5 million $16,942,795
Paycheck December 25, 2003 (co-production with Paramount Pictures) $60 million $96,269,812
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! January 23, 2004   $22 million $21,278,456
Eurotrip February 20, 2004   $25 million $20,796,847
Envy April 30, 2004 (co-production with Columbia Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment) $40 million $14,581,765
Shrek 2 May 19, 2004   $150 million $919,838,758
The Stepford Wives June 11, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures) $90 million $102,001,626
The Terminal June 18, 2004 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment) $60 million $219,417,255
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy July 9, 2004   $26 million $90,574,188
Collateral August 6, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures) $65 million $217,764,291
Surviving Christmas October 22, 2004     $14,793,624
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events December 17, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies) $142 million $209,073,645
Meet the Fockers December 22, 2004 (co-production with Universal Studios) $80 million $516,642,939
The Ring Two March 18, 2005 (co-production with The Kennedy/Marshall Company) $60 million $161,451,538
War of the Worlds June 29, 2005 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Amblin Entertainment) $132 million $591,745,550
The Island July 22, 2005 (co-production with Warner Bros.) $126 million $162,949,164
Red Eye August 19, 2005   $26 million $95,577,774
Just Like Heaven September 16, 2005   $58,000,000 $102,854,431

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