DreamWorks, Paramount split; Promise to Remain Friends

The divorce is final. The custody battle is over. They're both ready to move on. That's right: DreamWorks and Paramount finalized the details of their split over the weekend. They claim it's amicable and that they're going to remain friends and all of that, but we'll just see about that. As part of the deal, Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks will take the lead on 15-20 projects, and Paramount will have the option to co-finance. There are another 15-20 that Paramount will take the lead on, giving DreamWorks the option to co-finance. About 200 projects developed by DreamWorks will stay at Paramount, without DreamWorks financing or support.

So, Paramount gets to keep the kids, but DreamWorks doesn't have to pay child support. It's being called a win-win, which might be true if Spielberg & Co. didn't have any emotional attachment to said projects. The films affected by the deal have not been revealed, because the two media giants want to notify affected filmmakers first.

This is what everyone's been expecting since DreamWorks started screwing around on Paramount -- er, I mean, since DreamWorks partnered with India's Reliance Big Entertainment last month. The deal with RBE was DreamWorks' first step toward gaining independence from Paramount, which now is official. And DreamWorks must be pleased with the result, because if it hadn't walked away with those 15-20 projects, it would have had to start over with nothing -- not exactly an easy thing to do after a messy break.

As with any divorce where kids and assets are involved, though, there's a lot more hammering out of details to come. DreamWorks and Paramount are expected to continue to negotiate at least through the end of the year.




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