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We’re sorry to report that it looks like the couple of Dreamworks and Disney are splitting up after releasing the The BFG on July 1, 2016. They've been growing apart for some time – Disney's been hanging out with Marvel and Lucasfilm more and more lately – but the ultimate reason for this split is money: ridiculous amounts of money, all thanks to Spielberg’s involvement on Jurassic World, which is setting the tone for Dreamworks’ next chapter.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Spielberg made out like a bandit on the back of Jurassic World’s success, and while there’s not a specific figure mentioned, we’ve heard that the windfall the legendary director brought in was rather substantial. According to sources close to the action, Spielberg participated in the resuscitation of his landmark franchise in exchange for "a percentage of the profit worth tens of millions of dollars." The life of an executive producer like Steven Spielberg is pretty sweet, but director Colin Trevorrow still reaped some benefits out of the deal himself, as he was paid out of that amount as well.
The terms of this deal shouldn’t be that big of a surprise though, considering Steven Spielberg got his career started at Universal, and the two parties have always enjoyed a good relationship. Also, it should be noted that Universal had a cozy relationship with Dreamworks back in the days of its origin, especially because the seasoned veteran of a studio handled the home video distribution of the then upstart independent that Spielberg built alongside music mogul David Geffen and animation powerhouse Jeffrey Katzenberg. With this much money on the table, and the success of Jurassic World undoubtedly strengthening the bond between Spielberg and Universal, perhaps this is the time for the two studios to reunite.
Of course, this deal isn’t on the table just yet, and Disney could always sweeten the pot to win Steven Spielberg back. However, that doesn’t seem to be a prevailing possibility as the moment management changed hands at Disney, their priorities changed just as quickly. Meanwhile, Jurassic World just had a wonderful resurgence into the box office top 10 with the start of its limited one week IMAX revival last weekend. You can bet those results have ensured another healthy check is being written out to Spielberg’s bank account, as that kind of money is a sign that someone’s doing something right. So don’t be surprised if you see Universal solidify its ass kicking line up of partners by adding Dreamworks to the fold, alongside Illumination Entertainment and Legendary Pictures.
Bridge Of Spies, Steven Spielberg’s next film – and one of the last two films under his current agreement – hits theaters on October 16th. Jurassic World is on an IMAX screen near you until this Friday.