spielberg.gifEver since the Dreamworks buyout rumors started to circulate, speculators have speculated that Steven Spielberg is the most attractive part of the package. Spielberg – as a director or producer of future projects, but also as a boldfaced name on a DVD box – is, after all, one of the few consistently bankable namebrands in an industry that's constantly in flux.

But is he really worth it? According to a piece in today's New York Times, Spielberg has a maintained a professional relationship with Dreamworks' main suitor, Universal, since co-founding the smaller studio. He's also freelanced for other studios – War of the Worlds, for instance, was a Paramount co-production. But no matter where Spielberg works, he doesn't work for cheap. The director insists on back-end deals, so even when delivering a massive hit, he ends up keeping more of the profits. Minority Report, for instance, made over $350 million; $70 million each went to Spielberg and star/producing partner Tom Cruise, whilst the two studios involved, Fox and Dreamworks, kept only about $20 million each.

Still, Universal has enough of a relationship with the guy to make a partnership with his pet studio seem only logical; not only does Spielberg own a stake in Universal's theme park business, but he just renewed his lease on the suite of offices he works out of on their backlot.
categories Movies, Cinematical