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DreamWorks vs. Paramount (Or Katzenberg vs. Grey)

Jeffrey Katzenberg and Brad Grey

The standoff between DreamWorks Animation and Paramount is explored in this piece in the Hollywood Reporter. It’s a good primer on the situation, and interestingly, positions it mostly as a battle of egos between Jeffrey Katzenberg and Paramount head Brad Grey. Unidentified insiders in the piece also support my contention from earlier this week that Paramount is kidding itself if it thinks it can start producing animated blockbusters like DreamWorks by 2014.

COMMENTARY: Thoughts on DreamWorks Negotiations with Paramount

  • greg m.

    I think they’ll work something out.

  • Arturo

    I think that the Circle 7/Pixar situation was too diferent from this one; Circle 7 had all the rights to continue working with Pixar’s character rooster… In The other hand, if Paramount opens its own animation studio, it won’t have The rights to produce flicks with DWa characters.

    So, my guess is that both cases are totally diferent beasts.

  • Dana B

    Sticky situation indeed.

    I’m not a genius when it comes to business aspects, but what will happen with DW/PMT current deals and properties? Like the penguins show and the upcoming KFP show on Nickelodeon? Will they share joint distribution if DW finds a new partner? Will there be problems with future sequels that the predecessor of said sequel was under PMT’s name? Well, since the HTTYD tv series is coming to Cartoon Network in a few years, it seems likely that DW will team up with WB from there on. Just my thought.
    Well, I hope whatever happens turns out okay-dory. I am actually starting to soften up DW due to their previous entries(HTTYD for the most part). But whatever happens, happens :/

  • Seminole

    DW can do better than pair with WB, who can’t sell space heaters to Eskimos when it comes to releasing feature animation. And Paramount’s talk of producing animation on the cheap may just result in getting what they pay for. Rule one is that people must WANT the stuff.

  • Jason

    Katzenberg’s got this by the balls. I mean, look at that mug. How could he not?

  • Jerry will want to go tell that Hollywood Reporter reporter that she “needs to learn about the distribution business” since she is openly mentioning the same possibility that I naively mentioned here a few weeks ago… that Katzenberg might opt to self-distribute.

    Here’s another naive soul, with only 30 years in the biz, floating the same idea…


    How could they possibly suggest that someone who has made a bunch of hit movies and has a bunch of industry connections could ever get something distributed on his own? Jerry needs to swat that down fast.

  • Toonio

    My money is on the Kat (he reminds me of a white Sugar Ray).

  • Rob

    Jerry is not wrong about the folly of Katzenberg self-distributing. The cost of setting up an A-level distribution infrastructure as well as marketing team to release two or three titles a year makes no financial sense whatsoever. Katzenberg knows this, having seen Dreamworks throw in the towel with a yearly slate of 8 -10 films that couldn’t support their own distribution division.

  • Professor Widebottom

    Well, based on your illustration, Katzenberg has a larger head so he should prevail.

  • AaronSch

    Katzenberg is a hack. He’ll end up running back to Paramount… or elsewhere with his tail between his legs.

  • Jumpman

    Yeah, I saw and talked about this on the TAG blog (with the exception of some well thought out posts, reads like a “Rango was ugly, made no money, and it sucks” thread”). I do think it’s bad that Paramount is so eager to cut off DWA after all the money they made for them over the years, but DWA will be fine in the end. A DWA animator commented on the TAG blog they are financially well and are still being paid bonuses for the hits they keep on making, which is very good to hear.