Late last month, DreamWorks, the boutique movie studio that Mr. Spielberg co-founded in 1994, let it be known that it had found a way to exit its unhappy three-year marriage with Paramount Pictures. Reliance ADA Group, a Mumbai conglomerate, was nearing a deal to give the dream workers $550 million to form a new movie company.
That Mr. Spielberg and his business partner David Geffen had found an investor wasnâ€™t surprising. Mr. Spielberg is a superstar. DreamWorks had made it clear for months â€” via public comments and private grousing fed into the Hollywood grapevine â€” that they hated being part of Paramount and were going elsewhere as soon as it was contractually allowed.
But there was still an element of shock: Hollywood could not come up with a rich enough deal for Mr. Spielberg, the most bankable director in the business and a â€œnational treasureâ€? His last movie alone, â€œIndiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,â€ has sold $743 million in tickets and is still playing in theaters around the world.
For that matter, there wasnâ€™t anybody on Wall Street willing to write a blank check for the guy with â€œJawsâ€ and â€œJurassic Parkâ€ on his rÃ©sumÃ©?
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