DreamWorks may distribute films
LOS ANGELES - DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., producer of the “Shrek’’ films, may take over distribution of its movies when an accord with Paramount Pictures ends next year, three people with knowledge of the situation said.
The studio is considering delivering films to theaters electronically, said the people, who declined to speak publicly. DreamWorks may also distribute movies for other producers, one person said.
DreamWorks, which releases two to three films a year, would gain control over the marketing and scheduling of its movies at a time when theater consolidation and technology are making distribution cheaper and easier. Offering those services to others would add revenue to offset costs.
The studio, led by chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, hasn’t made a decision, one person said. DreamWorks could still sign with another Hollywood studio when the deal with Paramount ends. Self-distribution would require DreamWorks to market its own movies and find a new partner to release them outside the United States.
A DreamWorks spokeswoman declined to comment. The company has until the second or third quarter of next year to decide how to replace Paramount, Katzenberg has said.
Paramount has distributed DreamWorks films since 2006 and receives a fee of 8 percent for certain film revenue, including theatrical and DVD. That agreement expires Dec. 31, 2012, company filings show.