DreamWorks Negotiates to Meet Bollywood Financial Demands
In a Hollywood exclusive Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily, reports that a bombshell announcement awaits the entertainment world Monday. Despite an intimate deal with Universal, Dream Works met covertly with Disney seeking $250 million to put into its Bollywood partnership with Big Entertainment in Mumbai, India.
Dream Works approached partner Universal for assistance, but the studio averse to sinkning more money into Dream works. Reportedly, they were resistant to even invest $100M. Universal moved sluggishly through negotiations with Dream Works.
Universal Grapples with Spielberg’s Terms
Among the issues Universal has been grappling with is the issue of Steven Spilberg’s role and value to the organization. Steven Spielberg owns 2% of Universal theme parks that nets him $50 million per year. Part of Spielberg’s deal includes a buyout option that is to come due next year. Universal approached Dream Works asking Spielberg to renegotiate, an option that was unacceptable to Spielberg.
Secret Meettings Create Bombshell Negotiation
While Universal continued to drag out negotiations Dream Works approached Disney. There could hardly be a more ideal partnership. According to Finke, word of a deal between Dream Works and Disney is imminent, but both companies have done everything possible to keep negotiations under wraps. They kept the deal so close to the chest that DreamWorks didn’t let Universal know they were in negations with Disney.
Universal Willingly Bows Out
A Universal executive told Finke that they would no longer play a puppet in the drama DreamWorks was trying to create to get the best deal for themselves. Universal has backed away from the DreamWorks table, aggravated with the lack of integrity demonstrated by the company.
DreamWorks response boiled down to business is business. According to DreamWorks they are simply looking out for their own best interest. Conflicts of interest are inevitable in a capitalistic society. This conflict appears to have torn apart the relationship between Universal and DreamWorks.
Dreamworks History with Paramount and Universal Not Good
No love was lost between the companies when DreamWorks jumped in bed with Paramount. Universal didn’t find out about that until after the fact either, but that was a result of GE, Universal’s parent company changing negotiations at the last minute.
DreamWorks offers a highly marketable product, but is developing a history of closed door deals and having left a mess behind with Paramount.
Entertainment Bombshell Announcement Expected Monday
The Disney Deal is to be announced on Monday, barring another 11th hour pull-out by DreamWorks. The chances that this deal will be sealed and announced on Monday are very high considering Disney’s reputation for rigid negotiations.
A joint press release from DreamWorks and Disney is expected early Monday.
“Showbiz Shocker! Exclusive Details: Dreamworks Desperately Seeking $250M: Secretly Tries to Make Disney Play, but Loses Universal Deal in the Process; DW/Disney Deal to Announce Monday,” Nikki Finke’s Deadline Hollywood Daily