The rumors reported on Friday are true. Disney and Dreamworks SKG have signed an exclusive long-term distribution deal that will include about about six films a year starting as soon as next year. The arrangement with filmmaker and DreamWorks Studios co-founder Steven Spielberg, and partner Stacey Snider, chief executive officer of DreamWorks, includes all upcoming live-action motion pictures produced by DreamWorks under their partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment, part of The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
Under the terms of this arrangement, Disney will handle distribution and marketing for approximately six DreamWorks films each year. The first DreamWorks motion picture to be released under the Touchstone Pictures banner is scheduled to hit theaters in 2010.
DreamWorks principals Spielberg and Snider partnered with Reliance BIG Entertainment last fall to form a new motion picture company. In addition to being a partner in DreamWorks, Reliance will also distribute the new company’s projects in India.
Commenting on the announcement, Walt Disney Studios Chair Dick Cook said, “We’re both thrilled and honored to be marketing and distributing all of DreamWorks’ signature upcoming live-action motion pictures, and to begin a new relationship with such respected colleagues as Steven, Stacey, and their creative team at DreamWorks. Steven has made some of the biggest and most loved films of all-time, and continues to be one of the great icons of our industry. Stacey has an impeccable reputation and a phenomenal track record for making a wide variety of quality films. Their motion pictures will be the perfect complement to the already robust slate of Disney and Touchstone films being made by Oren Aviv and his team.”
Bob Iger, president and CEO, The Walt Disney Company, added, “We are tremendously pleased to join forces with Steven Spielberg, whose artistic vision and commitment to quality filmmaking are legendary. DreamWorks has had a great creative and commercial track record under the leadership of Steven and Stacey Snider and I am delighted they’re now associated with Disney.”
Steven Spielberg said, “Disney is the birthplace of imagination and has always been as close to the worldwide audience as any company ever has. I am so pleased that industry leaders like Bob Iger and Dick Cook reached out to become our distribution partner. This is a major step forward for us and Reliance.”
Stacey Snider added, “Under Bob Iger and Dick Cook’s leadership, The Walt Disney Company represents the highest standard of quality in our industry. Everyone at DreamWorks is thrilled to be embarking upon this new and exciting partnership and we look forward to our future with their great team.”
Previously: Disney and Dreamworks, a match made in Heaven?