Dreamworks and Universal Studios Do Lunch

It seems to be that a lot of unsubstantiated hate gets thrown toward Deadline Hollywood Daily‘s Nikki Finke. Personally, I find her column to be above all, entertaining. She also tends to come up with some really solid scoops here and there, as opposed to just reporting the same old crap that 55 other websites are reporting (that’s what we are here for.)

As an example of interesting news reported by Ms. Finke, yesterday she told of a public lunch that was had in the Universal Studios commissary that involved some guy named Steve who runs a pretty successful movie studio himself. That Steve’s last name is Spielberg, and he joined Stacey Snider, Dreamworks’ co-chair as they had lunch with Universal’s Jeff Zucker (CEO of NBC Universal Television) and Ron Meyer (President & COO of NBC Universal Television) for a quick bite to eat. The topic of conversation, as far as we can tell, was the proposed reunion of Dreamworks and Universal. It has been well documented in the media that the relationship between Dreamworks and Paramount is currently strained and Mr. Spielberg and Co. are looking to get back in bed with Universal.

So what does this mean for fans? Absolutely nothing. Hell, Steven Spielberg never even moved his office off of the Universal lot since the last time Uni was signing the checks. The big change will be for Universal, who will inherit arguably the most successful movie studio on the face of the planet. As my good friend Pete from /Film points out, the Dreamworks bankroll is deep. Take a look at what they’ve done just this year:

  • Transformers: $701 million worldwide with a $150 million budget. It also rocked out to the tune of 8.3 million copies sold on DVD in its first week.
  • Shrek the Third: $792 million worldwide.
  • Disturbia: $20 million dollar budget, $116 million worldwide and over $40 million on DVD.
  • Blades of Glory: $166 million worldwide and over $40 million on DVD.
  • Dreamgirls: $154 million worldwide, $30+ million on DVD and 2 Academy Awards for good measure.

It’s truly a mystery why Paramount would let a studio like Dreamworks slip out of its grasp, but one can only speculate that it has something to do with the whole “whatever Mr. Spielberg wants, Mr. Spielberg gets” rule in Hollywood. Personally, I don’t care which studio gets to play daddy, as long as they berth another Transformers movie as quickly as possible.

On the Side: Mad props to Peter at /Film for doing the following great Photoshop work… Classic.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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