Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tire Kicking

Your eagle-eyed correspondent notes this in the New York Times:

After more than a year of almost no activity, [new] deals do suggest that Hollywood is regaining its footing in a sharply changed entertainment sector ...

People are said to be kicking the tires on DreamWorks Animation, which is increasing production from two to three movies a year. Mr. Katzenberg declined to comment on the Merger & Acquisition chatter around his company.

DreamWorks Animation is now the only stand-alone animation studio in town. Every other cartoon factory nestles under the wings -- directly of indirectly -- of one of the conglomerates.

Sooner or later, the DWA will also cuddle up to one of the entertainment monsters. Nothing else makes (long-term) business sense .... unless the house of Jeffrey intends to grow into a conglomerate itself.


Anonymous said...

Jeffrey? It's Bob Iger on line two.

Anonymous said...

It would be funny if they somehow ended up being affiliated with Michael Eisner.

The only advantage I see with selling is that the founders would finally get money for their (currently paper) stock holdings.

Dreamworks Animation itself isn't hurting for money, or box office success, or distribution outlets, or available talent.

What would a conglomerate do except to dilute all that?

Mark Mayerson said...

DreamWorks is a public company, so it is ALWAYS up for sale, as is every public company. It doesn't matter whether J.K. wants to sell the company or not, what matters is whether somebody else is willing to make a large enough offer to the stockholders to get them to say yes.

Anybody with enough cash can buy DreamWorks, or for that matter, Disney.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, would love to see jeffery Katzemburg have to answer to John Lasseter. What goes around, comes around.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, would fucking love to see less of the same gutless predictable vertical integration that corporate shareholder America turns to every single fucking time things get tough. Dreamworks finding some conglomerate sugar daddy will just be one more sad compromise of quality, wages, and workplace trust. And all for what? A stock price that is steroid injected by 'stimulus' and Federal Reserve magic tricks with interest rates?

The truth is that if DW's only interest was to continue to make good movies, they would take the company private, clean house, and just do that. They would have no problem at all. But shareholders do not move in that direction. They are married to that stock price and they are going to do whatever it takes to keep it flying upward long past DW's 'good movie-making' years.

Just like our entire country, actually. Just ride the wave as long as we can, put off the pain as long as we can, deluded by the hope that maybe, just maybe, we can have our cake and eat it, too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there were 1 or 2 good movie making years there, after a long gestation period and quite a few flops.

Anonymous said...

What's up with all the Disney and Dreamworks haters in this thread and the one about Cloudy? Dreamworks has got all kinds of cool stuff going on. You can dislike Jeffrey (many do) but you've got to admire him for building a studio that is not just surviving, but thriving.

DW will need new capital at some point, in order to grow. The tradeoff for that new capital will be having to work for another layer of management and to fit into another company's priorities.

Let's all hope that no matter what company acquires them, DW continues to grow and thrive. Their success has inspired others to finance and start studios & created all kinds of jobs.

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