Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #111: Spielberg Dreams of Dreamworks...

A tip of my fuzzy yet dashing astrakhan to the Hollywood Reporter, and to conservative site Libertas who also picked up on the story that Steven Spielberg is seriously considering taking Dreamworks independent again, leaving Paramount in a bit of a lurch, content-wise.

Now Fox, Universal, and Disney have come a courting and are pitching serious woo to bring Dreamworks into their corporate fold, while Spielberg & Co. are looking around for about $1 billion in financing via banks or private equity partnerships.

Now if Spielberg is reading this, I'm going to lob one of my loopy little trial balloons.

I think MGM should make a play for Dreamworks.

I'm not saying that they should drop hundreds of millions of dollars to buy the company. Nope, leave takeovers to the companies that dwell in what I call the Big Bloated Bastard Club, what I'm thinking of is a partnership.

Think about it a minute. MGM has the ability to get films into theatres, but it has some problems. It's saddled with distributing most Weinstein Co. productions, a company that seems better at mollifying investors than winning audiences. Plus, their deal to make United Artists the personal fiefdom of Tom Cruise has left them with one turkey (Lions for Lambs) and a historical epic plagued by bad buzz, and a bloated budget bleeding big bucks that might have to compete with a near identical TV movie released theatrically by the Weinsteins (Valkyrie). They need movies that can win audiences while the new management team basically rebuilds the company from the ground up.

Dreamworks can make movies, quite a few of them commercially successful, but they are not a distributor, and can't really compete with the big boys when it comes to size.

But a partnership could give Dreamworks the screen capacity they need for their movies, and MGM the distribution revenue they need to keep the company going.

Now there might be a million reasons why this potential partnership might not be possible, but all I can say is that both parties should consider it.

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