DreamWorks Studios
Type Subsidiary
Founded October 12, 1994; 17 years ago (1994-10-12)
Founder(s) Steven Spielberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
David Geffen
Headquarters Universal City, California,
United States
Key people Steven Spielberg, Principal Partner
Stacy Snider, Co-Chairman/CEO
Products Motion pictures, television programs
Owner(s) Independent (1994–2006)
Viacom (2006–2008)
Reliance ADA Group (2008-present)
Employees 1,200 (2008)
Divisions DreamWorks Animation (former)
DreamWorks Live Theatrical Productions (current)
Subsidiaries DreamWorks Records (former)
DreamWorks Interactive (former)
DreamWorks Television (current)
DreamWorks Home Entertainment (current)
MoonBoy Productions (current)
Website http://www.dreamworksstudios.com

DreamWorks Pictures, also known as DreamWorks, LLC, DreamWorks SKG, DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC, DreamWorks Studios or DW Studios, LLC, is an American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games and television programming. It has produced or distributed more than ten films with box-office grosses totalling more than $100 million each.

DreamWorks began in 1994 as an ambitious attempt by media moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen (forming the SKG present on the bottom of the DreamWorks logo) to create a new Hollywood studio of which they own 72%. In December 2005, the founders agreed to sell the studio to Viacom, parent of Paramount Pictures. The sale was completed in February 2006. In 2008, DreamWorks announced its intention to end its partnership with Paramount and signed a $1.5 billion deal to produce films with India's Reliance ADA Group.[1] Reliance provided $325M of equity to fund recreating Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks studio as an independent entity. Clark Hallren, former Managing Director of the Entertainment Industries group of J.P. Morgan Securities and Alan J. Levine of J.P. Morgan Entertainment Advisors led the Reliance team in structuring the capital and business plan for the company.[2][3] The movie studio's distribution is 50% owned by Reliance which is led by Anil Ambani.[4]

DreamWorks' animation arm was spun off in 2004 into DreamWorks Animation SKG. Its films were distributed worldwide by Paramount, but the animation studio remained independent of Paramount/Viacom.



The company was founded following Katzenberg's resignation from Disney Enterprises Inc. in 1994. At the suggestion of a friend of Spielberg, the two made an agreement with long-time Katzenberg collaborator David Geffen to start their own studio. The studio was officially founded on October 12, 1994 with financial backing of $33 million from each of the three main partners and $500 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

In 1998, The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lawsuit against DreamWorks for trademark infringement on Dreamwerks Production Group, Inc., a company mostly specializing in Star Trek Conventions.[5]

In 1998, DreamWorks released its first full-length animated feature, Antz.

In 1999, 2000 and 2001, DreamWorks won three consecutive Academy Awards for Best Picture for American Beauty, Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind (the later two with Universal).

DreamWorks Interactive is a computer and video game developer founded in 1995, as a subsidiary of DreamWorks SKG. On February 24, 2000, Electronic Arts announced the acquisition of DreamWorks Interactive from DreamWorks and merged it with EA Pacific and Westwood Studios. DreamWorks Interactive became EA Los Angeles (EALA).

DreamWorks Records is the company's record label, the first project of which was George Michael's Older album. The first band signed to this label was the "eels" who released their debut album "Beautiful Freak" in 1997. The record company never lived up to expectations, though, and was sold in October 2003 to Universal Music Group, which operated the label as DreamWorks Nashville. That label was shut down in 2005 when its flagship artist, Toby Keith, departed to form his own label.[6]

The studio has had its greatest financial success with movies, specifically animated movies. DreamWorks Animation teamed up with Pacific Data Images (now known as PDI/DreamWorks) in 1996, emerging as the main competitor to Pixar in the age of computer-generated animation and one of the few competitors to Disney in creating traditionally animated feature films. DreamWorks Animation has produced some of the highest grossing animated hits of all time, such as Antz (1998), Shrek (2001), its sequels Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007) and Shrek Forever After (2010); Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Madagascar (2005), its sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008), Over the Hedge (2006), Flushed Away (2006), Bee Movie (2007), Kung Fu Panda (2008), its sequel, Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011), Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009), How to Train Your Dragon (2010), and Megamind (2010), Puss in Boots (2011). Based on the films' success, DreamWorks Animation has spun off as its own publicly traded company.

In recent years, DreamWorks has scaled back. It stopped plans to build a high-tech studio, sold its music division, and has only produced a few television series, Las Vegas, Carpoolers and On the Lot, for example.

David Geffen admitted that DreamWorks had come close to bankruptcy twice. Under Katzenberg's watch, the studio suffered a $125 million loss on Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,[7] and also overestimated the DVD demand for Shrek 2.[8] In 2005, out of their two large budget pictures, The Island bombed at the domestic box office, while War of the Worlds was produced as a joint effort with Paramount which was the first to reap the profits.[7]

In December 2005, Viacom's Paramount Pictures agreed to purchase the live-action studio. The deal was valued at approximately $1.6 billion, an amount that included about $400 million in debt assumptions. The company completed its acquisition on February 1, 2006.[9]

On March 17, 2006, Paramount agreed to sell a controlling interest in the DreamWorks live-action library (pre-09/16/2005; DW Funding, LLC) to Soros Strategic Partners and Dune Entertainment II.[10] The film library is valued at $900 million. Paramount retained the worldwide distribution rights to these films, as well as various ancillary rights, including music publishing, sequels and merchandising. This includes films that had been made by Paramount and DreamWorks (the music publishing rights were later licensed to Sony-ATV Music Publishing when that company acquired Paramount's Famous Music subdivision). The sale was completed on May 8, 2006.[11]

On March 12, 2007, DreamWorks Animation announced it would release all of its films, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), in stereoscopic 3D.[12]

In June 2008, Variety reported that DreamWorks was looking for financing that would allow it to continue operations as an independent production company once its deal with Paramount ended later in the year.[13] Most of the backing would come from an Indian investment firm called Reliance ADA Group. The DreamWorks trademarks are owned by DreamWorks Animation and the new company would need their approval to use the trademarks.[citation needed] In September 2008, it was reported by Variety that Dreamworks closed a deal with Reliance to create a stand-alone production company and end its ties to Paramount.[14]

The DreamWorks logo features a young boy sitting on a crescent moon while fishing. The general idea for the logo was the brainchild of company co-founder Steven Spielberg, who originally wanted a computer-generated image, whereas Visual Effects Supervisor Dennis Muren, of Industrial Light and Magic suggested a hand-painted one. Muren then contacted a friend and fellow artist, Robert Hunt, to paint it. Hunt worked on both versions, for each of which his son William was cast as the model for the boy, and Spielberg liked the CGI one better. The music accompanying the logo to start live-action DreamWorks movies was specially composed by John Williams (although a number of DreamWorks films, such as Galaxy Quest and Saving Private Ryan, omit the music); the DreamWorks Animation logo has music from the Harry Gregson-Williams/John Powell score for Shrek. The main logo shows the scene at night, while the DreamWorks Animation logo shows it during the day.

The logo attached to feature films was made at ILM based on paintings by Hunt, in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Films, Dave Carson and Clint Goldman.[15]


On February 9, 2009, DreamWorks entered into a long-term, 30-picture distribution deal with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures by which the films will be released through the Touchstone Pictures banner over the next five years.This agreement is reported to have come after negotiations broke off with Universal Pictures just days earlier.[16] However, this deal does not include Indian distribution rights, which will be handled by Reliance,[17] nor does it include DreamWorks Animation, whose films will still be distributed by Paramount through to late 2012. Also not included are sequels to live-action films released before the Paramount merger, or those released by Paramount themselves – Paramount retains the rights to these franchises, and one such sequel, Little Fockers, was released by Paramount internationally in December 2010 (Universal owns domestic rights).

The broadcast and basic subscription cable television distribution rights to many DreamWorks films are owned by Disney-ABC International Television(formally Buena Vista Internetional Inc.). Ironically, ABC Studios (along with Pixar) is owned by Disney, with which Katzenberg had a falling out. In South Korea, CJ Entertainment has the rights to release all DreamWorks' films, except some co-productions (for example, Minority Report was distributed by Fox, and The Island by Warner Bros., due to these studios having owned the international rights to these films).

Formerly, United International Pictures, a joint venture of Paramount and Universal, released DreamWorks' films internationally (except South Korea).


Edwin R. Leonard, CTO of DreamWorks Animation, won a special achievement award at the 2008 Annies for driving their innovative work with Open Source Software and Linux.[18]


For animated films, see DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Distribution

First film library spun off in DW Funding LLC and controlling interest sold to Soros Strategic Partners LP and Dune Entertainment II LLC. In February 2010, Viacom acquired the Soros/Dune stake. (The sale only included films released through September 16, 2005, the latest film in the package being Just Like Heaven.)

Title Release Date Notes
The Peacemaker September 26, 1997 First ever film by DreamWorks SKG
Amistad December 10, 1997 (co-production with HBO Films)
MouseHunt December 19, 1997
Paulie April 17, 1998
Deep Impact May 8, 1998 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
Small Soldiers July 10, 1998 (co-production with Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment)
Saving Private Ryan July 24, 1998 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Paramount Pictures, Amblin Entertainment and Mutual Film Company)
Antz October 2, 1998 (co-production with Pacific Data Images)
Prince of Egypt, TheThe Prince of Egypt December 18, 1998
In Dreams January 15, 1999
Forces of Nature March 19, 1999
The Love Letter May 21, 1999
The Haunting July 23, 1999
American Beauty October 1, 1999 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Galaxy Quest December 25, 1999
Road to El Dorado, TheThe Road to El Dorado March 31, 2000
Gladiator May 5, 2000 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios and Scott Free Productions)
Road Trip May 19, 2000
Small Time Crooks May 19, 2000
Chicken Run June 23, 2000 (co-production with Pathé and Aardman Animations)
What Lies Beneath July 21, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and ImageMovers)
Almost Famous September 13, 2000 (co-production with Columbia Pictures)
Meet the Parents October 6, 2000 (co-production with Universal Studios)
The Contender October 13, 2000 (co-production with Cinerenta Medienbeteiligungs KG)
The Legend of Bagger Vance November 3, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and Allied Filmmakers)
Cast Away December 22, 2000 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and ImageMovers)
An Everlasting Piece December 25, 2000 (co-production with Columbia Pictures)
The Mexican March 2, 2001 (co-production with Newmarket Films)
Shrek May 18, 2001 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Evolution June 8, 2001 (co-production with Columbia Pictures and The Montecito Picture Company)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence June 26, 2001 (co-production with Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment)
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion August 24, 2001 (in association with VCL Communications GmbH)
The Last Castle October 19, 2001
A Beautiful Mind December 21, 2001 Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment)
The Time Machine March 8, 2002 (co-production with Warner Bros.)
Hollywood Ending May 3, 2002
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron May 24, 2002 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Minority Report June 21, 2002 (co-production with 20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment)
Road to Perdition July 12, 2002 (co-production with 20th Century Fox)
The Tuxedo September 27, 2002
The Ring October 18, 2002
Catch Me If You Can December 25, 2002 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment)
Biker Boyz January 31, 2003
Old School February 21, 2003 (co-production with The Montecito Picture Company)
Head of State March 28, 2003
Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas July 22, 2003
Seabiscuit July 25, 2003 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios, Spyglass Entertainment, and The Kennedy/Marshall Company)
Anything Else September 19, 2003
The Cat in the Hat November 21, 2003 (co-production with Universal Studios and Imagine Entertainment)
House of Sand and Fog December 19, 2003
Paycheck December 25, 2003 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
Win a Date with Tad Hamilton! January 23, 2004
Eurotrip February 20, 2004
Envy April 30, 2004 (co-production with Columbia Pictures and Castle Rock Entertainment)
The Stepford Wives June 11, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
The Terminal June 18, 2004 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment)
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy July 9, 2004
Collateral August 6, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
Surviving Christmas October 22, 2004
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events December 17, 2004 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies)
Meet the Fockers December 22, 2004 (co-production with Universal Studios)
The Ring Two March 18, 2005 (co-production with The Kennedy/Marshall Company))
War of the Worlds June 29, 2005 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)
The Island July 22, 2005 (co-production with Warner Bros.)
Red Eye August 19, 2005
Just Like Heaven September 16, 2005
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio October 14, 2005 (co-production with Revolution Studios and ImageMovers)
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story October 21, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha December 23, 2005 (co-production with Spyglass Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment Columbia Pictures, and Red Wagon Productions)
Munich December 23, 2005 Nominee of the Academy Award for Best Picture. (co-production with Universal Studios, Amblin Entertainment The Kennedy/Marshall Company) & DreamWorks)
Match Point December 28, 2005
She's the Man March 17, 2006 (co-production with Lakeshore Entertainment)

Paramount Pictures

Title Release Date Notes
The Last Kiss September 15, 2006 (US distribution only, produced by Lakeshore Entertainment)
Flags of Our Fathers October 20, 2006 (co-production with Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment)
Dreamgirls December 15, 2006 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
Letters from Iwo Jima December 20, 2006 (co-production with Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment)
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer December 27, 2006 US distribution only, produced by Constantin Film
Norbit February 8, 2007
Blades of Glory March 30, 2007 (co-production with MTV Films and Red Hour Films)
Disturbia April 13, 2007 (co-production with The Montecito Picture Company)
Transformers July 2, 2007 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Hasbro)
The Heartbreak Kid October 5, 2007
Things We Lost in the Fire October 19, 2007
The Kite Runner December 14, 2007 (co-production with Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions; distributed by Paramount Classics)
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street December 21, 2007 (co-production with Warner Bros., Parkes/MacDonald Productions and The Zanuck Company)
The Ruins April 4, 2008 (co-production with Spyglass Entertainment and Red Hour Films)
Tropic Thunder August 8, 2008 (co-production with Red Hour Films)
Ghost Town September 19, 2008 (co-production with Spyglass Entertainment)
Eagle Eye September 26, 2008
Revolutionary Road December 26, 2008 (co-production with BBC Films and Paramount Vantage)
Hotel for Dogs January 16, 2009 (co-production with Nickelodeon Movies, Cold Spring Pictures, Donners' Company and The Montecito Picture Company)
The Uninvited January 30, 2009 (co-production with Cold Spring Pictures, Parkes/MacDonald Productions, The Montecito Picture Company and Vertigo Entertainment)
I Love You, Man March 20, 2009 (co-production with The Montecito Picture Company)
The Soloist April 24, 2009 (co-production with Universal Studios, StudioCanal, Participant Media, Between Two Trees, Working Title Films and Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen June 24, 2009 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Hasbro)
Paranormal Activity September 25, 2009 (co-production with Paramount Pictures)
The Lovely Bones December 11, 2009 (premiere)
January 15, 2010 (wide)
(co-production with Paramount Pictures, FilmFour and Wingnut Films)
She's Out of My League March 12, 2010 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Mosaic Media Group)
Dinner for Schmucks July 30, 2010 (co-production with Paramount Pictures, Spyglass Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald Productions and Everyman Pictures)
Cowboys & Aliens July 29, 2011 (co-production with Universal Studios, Relativity Media, Reliance BIG Entertainment and Imagine Entertainment)
A Thousand Words March 23, 2012

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following films are part of the 30-picture distribution deal with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. These films are released under Disney's Touchstone Pictures brand.

Title Release Date Notes
I Am Number Four February 18, 2011 (co-production with Bay Films and Reliance BIG Entertainment)
The Help August 10, 2011 (co-production with 1492 Pictures, Participant Media, Imagenation and Reliance BIG Entertainment)
Fright Night August 19, 2011
Real Steel October 7, 2011 (co-production with ImageMovers)
War Horse December 25, 2011 (co-production with Reliance BIG Entertainment, Amblin Entertainment and The Kennedy/Marshall Company)
Lincoln 2012 (co-production with Amblin Entertainment)
Monsterpocalypse 2012
Welcome to People 2012 (co-production with K/O Paper Products)
Midnight Express 2012 (co-production with Imagine Entertainment, Reliance BIG Entertainment, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Smokehouse Pictures)
Robopocalypse[19] July 3, 2013[20] (co-production with 20th Century Fox and Amblin Entertainment)[20]
Earp: Saints For Sinners 2013
Time Crimes 2013
Genneris 2013
Interstellar 2014 (co-production with Paramount Pictures and Amblin Entertainment)
The 39 Clues (co-production with Universal Studios, Walden Media and Amblin Entertainment)
The Fall Guy

TV series and specials

Musical artists

Computer and video games



  1. ^ AFP: DreamWorks, India's Reliance Sign Major Deal, AFP, September 21, 2008
  2. ^ Morgan, Richard (October 16, 2009). "Hollywood's enablers". The Deal Magazine. http://www.thedeal.com/newsweekly/dealmakers/weekly-movers-and-shakers/hollywood's-enablers.php. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  3. ^ McClintock, Pamela (August 17, 2009). "Reliance, DreamWorks close deal". Daily Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118007358.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved April 22, 2010. 
  4. ^ Indian Tiger Eyes Wounded MGM Lion
  5. ^ "Open Jurist". 142 F. 3d 1127 - Dreamwerks Production Group Inc v. Skg Studio Skg. http://openjurist.org/142/f3d/1127/dreamwerks-production-group-inc-v-skg-studio-skg. Retrieved September 15, 2011. 
  6. ^ Stark, Phyllis, "Toby Keith topped country charts, shook up Music Row," Billboard magazine, December 24, 2005, p. YE-18.
  7. ^ a b 'Island' Could Sink DreamWorks Sale, Fox News
  8. ^ DVD: doom, gloom or boom?, CNN
  9. ^ Paramount, DreamWorks agree to deal – Dec. 12, 2005
  10. ^ Viacom to Sell Paramount Pictures' DreamWorks Film Library For $900 Million
  11. ^ Viacom to Sell DreamWorks Film Library. Associated Press. March 18, 2006. Retrieved on 07/20/2009.
  12. ^ Fritz, Ben (March 12, 2007). "DreamWorks goes 3-D in 2009". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117961023.html. Retrieved August 13, 2009. 
  13. ^ DreamWorks considers indie future
  14. ^ DreamWorks, Reliance close deal
  15. ^ The Stories Behind Hollywood Studio Logos
  16. ^ Variety: Disney signs deal with DreamWorks Company will handle distribution for films, Variety, February 9, 2009
  17. ^ Eller, Claudia (February 10, 2009). "DreamWorks gets Disney cash in distribution deal". Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2009/feb/10/business/fi-dreamworks10. 
  18. ^ Annie Awards: Legacy – 35th Annual Annie Awards
  19. ^ ComingSoon.net
  20. ^ a b Entertainment Weekly

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