On Aug. 20, DreamWorks Animation announced its new long-term distribution deal with the Fox film studio. But sources say there was more behind-the-scenes drama in the making of the pact than either side has chosen to reveal. Those with knowledge of the situation say Fox parent News Corp. discussed a potential purchase of DWA at a price that would have included a premium on the company's market valuation of a little less than $1.5 billion.
I've thought for a long time that, despite denials, Jeffrey was looking for a rich purchase deal, wherein DreamWorks Animation would be bought by one of our fine, entertainment conglomerates. Trouble is, in September 2008 the financial meltdown happened and kind of turned everything in Hollywood (and elsewhere) inside out and upside down.
Corporations are now a lot tighter with a dollar, top* to bottom, and so DreamWorks Animation is still an independent studio. Will Fox purchase DWA at some point in the future? I think the odds are good if DreamWorks' pictures perform over the next several years. Jeffrey and his company are hard chargers -- always have been -- and I think that might give Rupert and his minions pause, but in the end, box office grosses talk.
* When we say "top", we of course don't mean CEOs and Chairmen like Sumner R. and Robert I. and the rest of the select few at the highest elevations. The money spiggots are never screwed shut for those folks.