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the take

Can ‘Cloverfield’ and ‘Love Guru’ Help Paramount Forget About DreamWorks?

According to Variety, Paramount and parent company Viacom have begun the process of making themselves emotionally ready for the upcoming breakup between the company and DreamWorks. At a Goldman Sachs presentation in New York, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told investors that the company was not at all worried that the potential departure of Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks would affect Viacom's bottom line. "The financial impact to Paramount first and especially to Viacom overall would be completely immaterial," he said, pointing to such upcoming Paramount films as Cloverfield, Star Trek, Iron Man, and Love Guru as sure-fire moneymakers for the studio.

The marriage between Paramount and DreamWorks has been a rocky one at times; the integration of the two companies' staffs was bumpy, and Spielberg and David Geffen are said to be disappointed in the partnership so far. Still, Dauman seems pretty gung-ho for a guy whose movie division's profits have come, for the most part, from DreamWorks properties like Blades of Glory, Transformers, and Disturbia.

Of course, studios always think their movies are going to make money, even vérité sci-fi experiments like Cloverfield, franchise reboots like Star Trek, comic-book movies about middle-grade superheroes like Iron Man, or expensive Mike Myers comedies like Love Guru. And hey, maybe Dauman's right, and next year's Paramount slate will do great! Except Love Guru. That won't.

Viacom's Life Without DreamWorks [Variety]
Earlier: Independent-Minded Director, Meddling Billionaire Not a Match Made in Heaven After All