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    Tue, 10 Feb 2009 12:09:14

    DreamWorks Partners with Disney - After Universal bows out of distribution deal

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    Disney has come to DreamWorks' rescue after Universal pulled out a seven-year distribution deal it previously entered into with DreamWorks last year. Universal backed out after DreamWorks demanded that the studio's $150 million contingency loan be turned into a $250 million financing deal with delayed repayment. Universal issued a statement, which read as follows: "Over the past several weeks, DreamWorks has demanded material changes to previously agreed-upon terms. It is clear that DreamWorks' needs and Universal's business interests are no longer in alignment. We wish them luck in their pursuit of funding and distribution of their future endeavors."

    In the wake of the deal falling through, DreamWorks head honcho Steven Spielberg and partner Stacey Snider have secured an exclusive "long term distribution" arrangement with Disney. DreamWorks split with Paramount in October and immediately linked up with Universal. DreamWorks was promised a $550 million investment from India's Reliance Big Entertainment if they can raise more subsequent funding.

    Under the terms of the Disney deal, Disney will market and distribute approximately six DreamWorks titles per year. The first DreamWorks/Disney title will be released via Touchstone Pictures and will hit theaters in 2010. Disney released a statement praising Spielberg's "artistic vision" while Spielberg called the Mouse House "the birthplace of imagination."

    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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