DreamWorks Studios

DreamWorks StudiosDreamWorks SKG Studios

100 Universal City Plaza Dr.

Bldg. 5121 Universal City, CA 91608





Principal Partner Steven Spielberg, Source: dreamworksstudios.com [1]

CEO Michael Wright, Source: dreamworksstudios.com [1]








President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Small, Source: dreamworksstudios.com [1]

Holly Bario, President of Production

Holly Bario, President of Production Source: dreamworksstudios.com [1]








DreamWorks SKG is an American motion picture studio founded in 1994 by widely known director, Steven Spielberg, recording industry connoisseur David Geffen, and animation expert Jeffrey Katzenberg.The company started off with films like MouseHunt and The Peacemaker and even had a DreamWorks record label, but they struggled with any success beyond films and television and soon dropped the music label and arcade portions of the company. Katzenberg’s extremely successful animation became a subsidiary of its parent company and the money making DreamWorks Animations became welcome to shareholders as a new and separate company in 2004 with Katzenberg as the CEO. The DreamWorks SKG Studios still represents the first letters for the last names of the three head partners who started their company together.  [1]


[2] Learn a little bit more about the unique Steven Spielberg above.


DreamWorks studios is responsible for the production, development, and distribution of its films, television programs, and video games. DreamWorks currently distributes and markets their films worldwide through their partnership with Walt Disney Studios [2]. In addition, the DreamWorks Picture Company holds a partnership with Reliance Entertainment and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group to help co-produce, market, and distribute their films on a global scale [2]. Dreamworks Studios’s big competitors are Lionsgate Entertainment Inc., Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., and FOX Filmed Entertainment.  Since their first movie DreamWorks Studios has earned over $11 billion in worldwide box office sales [3]. Popular DreamWorks films include The Help, Transformers, and Dreamgirls.

Finances and Rocky Relationship with Disney

In August of 2016, the DreamWorks distribution deal with Disney will expire after it’s six-year run and the renewal of the pact has been said to discontinue after DreamWorks’s inability to deliver the six-live action films per year as promised to Disney distributors [4]. With the exception of hit films like The Help, released in 2011,  that grossed $169 million domestically and an additional $46 million internationally, the DreamWorks studio has struggled to perform as successfully in the box office as they planned when originally partnering with Disney for financial support in 2009 [5]. However, DreamWorks Studios will be looking forward to closing a deal to partner with Participant Media, where they hope to receive a large cash infusion. For the past four consecutive years now, Dreamworks Studios has had a reported loss of at least $100 million caused by their failure to produce a continuous stream of hit films and the company’s subsequent cash flow issues [6].  After a quickly failed three-year partnership with Paramount, and Reliance Entertainment being unlikely to invest anymore than the primary bankroll they have been providing for DreamWorks, the financial standing of the studio has not been so secure. Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media is said to become a long-term and heavy investor for DreamWorks bringing in approximately $200 million or more to the company in their crucial time of need [7]. DreamWorks Studios is a private company, therefore specific financial quarterly earnings and revenue have not been reported.


Chart revealing DreamWorks Scarce Success in Film Sales while Partnering with Disney Source: Box Office Mojo [3]

The final two films released through the Disney distributor deal are Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, in theaters October 16, 2015 and Big Friendly Giant, set to release July 2, 2016 – both films directed by Steven Spielberg himself [8]. The Bridge of Spies movie doing well in the box office with $95 million worldwide ticket sales since its release, is about an American lawyer who is recruited to defend a Soviet spy during the cold war [3]. The movie has a targeted audience of respectively older female and male viewers that would enjoy a multiplex, art house realm of storytelling. See trailer below [4].


DreamWorks studios was set to work on the 2015 Spotlight film, about the unveiling of a silenced past of rape and molestation done by priests in Boston, a true story that shook the Catholic Church to its core. Participant Media was set to co-finance the riveting film alongside DreamWorks Studios with a $15 million budget at hand, but DreamWorks suddenly pulled out of the deal, causing the movie to derail and curving the production plans entirely [9]. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio released no official explanation but the large amount of skepticism on how popular a film of pedophilia would be during its set holiday release, caused the company to second guess how their targeted audiences would react to the harshness of such a film [9].

DreamWorks Pictures is teaming with Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures to create the highly anticipated Ready Player One film. The sci-fi action adventure film will be directed by Spielberg and is set to release December 15, 2017. The film is based on the best selling Ready Player One novel, written by Ernest Cline and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures [10 ]. The film that will be directed by the three-time Academy Award winning director is projected to be a huge holiday success. DreamWorks also plans to allow American Sniper screenwriter, Jason Hall to do his first drama film as a director, titled Thank You for Your Service. The film will be about U.S. soldiers returning to their family lives after the war in Iraq and the PTSD they experience with such a dramatic transitioning.

Spielberg and Katzenberg have also been experiencing complications on whether or not to extend a deal allowing the DreamWorks Studio to continue using the name. The discretionary pact will expire on January 1, 2016, leaving the Studio up in the air about solidifying their company name that has spent its years growing into a globally recognized brand [12]. Although DreamWorks Animation is now completely separate from Spielberg’s DreamWorks Studios, the animation studio continues to be a huge economic and social success as their franchise continues to expand. The DreamWorks Studio name and logo is licensed from Katzenberg’s DreamWorks Animation and the two brotherly companies hope to work out the trouble and keep the brand name where it started.


The future of DreamWorks Studios lies within the company’s vision towards creating exciting, new, diverse, and well-developed content that can be both a hit in the box-office and capable of becoming a franchise for the studio. DreamWorks recently gained a new action comedy project, called Ex-Criminals, with actor and comedian T.J. Miller set to star and help write the script about a dysfunctional couple that robs banks together [13]. DreamWorks has also acquired the rights in 2014, for the fastest selling adult novel in history, Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train,  where the studio plans to create a film adapted version of the international best selling thriller – set to release in the U.S. on October 7 of 2016 [13]. In addition, DreamWorks SKG recently bought John Connolly’s trilogy of popular novels for middle school readers, with plans to turn the series into a possible franchise. Unlike many older film studios, DreamWorks does not have a large array of material to already choose from and must stay on their feet in terms of constantly creating new and profitable content, but the company plans on meeting the goal.


[1] “| Company Profile from Hoover’s.” DW STUDIOS L.L.C. N.p., Mar. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2015.

[2] “Our History | DreamWorks Studios.” DreamWorksStudios.com. N.p., Mar. 2012. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/about/history>.

[3] Box Office History for DreamWorks Pictures Movies.” DreamWorks Pictures Production Company Box Office History. Nash Information Services LLC, Nov. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/production-company/DreamWorks-Pictures>.

[4] Thompson, Anne. “What Spielberg Really Wants.” IndieWire. N.p., 2 Sept. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/what-spielberg-really-wants-20150902>.

[5]”The Help (2011) – Box Office Mojo.” Box Office Mojo. N.p., Mar. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=help2011.htm>.

[6] McClintock, Pamela. “DreamWorks Nears Rich Financing Deal With Participant Media (Exclusive).” The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 4 Apr. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dreamworks-nears-rich-financing-deal-791334>.

[7]Fritz, Ben. “DreamWorks Studio Needs a New Script.” Wall Street Journal. N.p., 13 Mar. 2014. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303546204579435464122525596>

[8] Donnelly, Matt. “Disney Expected to Drop Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks.” The Wrap. N.p., 2 Sept. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <https://www.thewrap.com/disney-to-drop-steven-spielbergs-dreamworks/>

[9] Rich, Joshua. “How DreamWorks Nearly Derailed ‘Spotlight’: “No One Wants to Watch a Priest Molesting a Kid”” The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/how-dreamworks-derailed-spotlight-no-836366>.

[10] “Ready Player One,” From Director Steven Spielberg, Will Be Ready for Audiences in the 2017 Holiday Window | DreamWorks Studios.” DreamWorksStudios.com. 6 August 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/news/ready-player-one-from-director-steven-spielberg-will-be-ready-for-audiences-in-the-2017-holiday>.

[11] Grant, Charles. “Bridge of Spies Beats Black Mass and Carol in Prestige Week at UK Box Office.” Theguardian.com. N.p., 1 Dec. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/dec/01/uk-box-office-bridge-of-spies-black-mass-carol-good-dinosaur>.

[12] McClintock, Pamela. “Will Steven Spielberg Drop the DreamWorks Name?” The Hollywood Reporter. N.p., 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/will-steven-spielberg-drop-dreamworks-826201>.

[13]]Kit, Borys. “DreamWorks Picks Up T.J. Miller’s Action Comedy ‘Ex-Criminals’ | DreamWorks Studios.” DreamWorksStudios.com. N.p., 18 Nov. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <http://www.dreamworksstudios.com/news/dreamworks-picks-up-tj-millers-action-comedy-ex-criminals>.

[13] Madatian, Jasmine. “Principal Photography Begins for New York Times Best Seller ‘The Girl on the Train’.” Business Wire. N.p., 11 Nov. 201. Web. 30 Nov. 2015 <http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20151111005526/en/Principal-Photography-Begins-York-Times-Seller-%E2%80%98The >..

Photo and Video Sources

[1] “| DreamWorks Executives.” DreamWorks SKG Studios. DreamWorks Animation LLC, 2010. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://dreamworksstudios.com/about/executives/>.

[2] BIO.com. “Mini BIO – Steven Spielberg.” YouTube. YouTube, 6 Sept. 2012. Web. 28 Nov. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8MJJIGOfas&feature=youtu.be>

[3] Donnelly, Matt. “Disney Expected to Drop Steven Spielberg’s DreamWorks.” The Wrap. N.p., 2 Sept. 2015. Web. 1 Dec. 2015. <https://www.thewrap.com/disney-to-drop-steven-spielbergs-dreamworks/>.

[4] Fandango MOVIECLIPS. “Bridge of Spies Official Trailer #2 (2015) – Tom Hanks Cold War Thriller HD.” YouTube. YouTube, 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 28 Nov. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxUk1RsajcI&feature=youtu.be>.




Comments are closed.