Disney to distribute Reliance’s & DreamWorks’ movies

MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Studios has entered into an exclusive long-term distribution arrangement with filmmaker and DreamWorks Studios co-founder Steven Spielberg, and DreamWorks partner and CEO Stacey Snider to distribute all upcoming live-action motion pictures produced by DreamWorks under their partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment.

This development comes after Dreamworks’ seven year deal with Universal Studios that was inked in October last year fell through.

Under the terms of this new arrangement, Disney will handle distribution and marketing for approximately six DreamWorks films each year. The first DreamWorks motion picture to be released under the Touchstone Pictures banner is scheduled to hit theaters in 2010.

Spielberg and Snider partnered with Reliance BIG Entertainment last year to form a new motion picture company. Reliance will distribute the new company’s projects in India.

Pertinent to note here is that in India, Disney has a stake in UTV Software Communications and had recently struck a deal to distibute its films in India via UTV Motion Pictures. Prior to this deal, Sony Pictures Releasing of India used to distribute Disney’s movies in India.

Walt Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook said, "We’re both thrilled and honored to be marketing and distributing all of DreamWorks’ signature upcoming live-action motion pictures, and to begin a new relationship with such respected colleagues as Steven, Stacey, and their creative team at DreamWorks. Steven has made some of the biggest and most loved films of all-time, and continues to be one of the great icons of our industry. Stacey has an impeccable reputation and a phenomenal track record for making a wide variety of quality films. Their motion pictures will be the perfect complement to the already robust slate of Disney and Touchstone films being made by Oren Aviv and his team."

The Walt Disney Company president and CEO Bob Iger added, "We are tremendously pleased to join forces with Steven Spielberg, whose artistic vision and commitment to quality filmmaking are legendary. DreamWorks has had a great creative and commercial track record under the leadership of Steven and Stacey Snider and I am delighted they’re now associated with Disney."

Spielberg said, "Disney is the birthplace of imagination and has always been as close to the worldwide audience as any company ever has. I am so pleased that industry leaders like Bob Iger and Dick Cook reached out to become our distribution partner. This is a major step forward for us and Reliance."

Snider added, "Under Bob Iger and Dick Cook’s leadership, The Walt Disney Company represents the highest standard of quality in our industry. Everyone at DreamWorks is thrilled to be embarking upon this new and exciting partnership and we look forward to our future with their great team."

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