Is DreamWorks going Bollywood?

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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: One thing that doesn't seem to be in short supply these days is entertainment.

Now, India, which has built its own movie industry with Bollywood, wants a piece of Hollywood and today comes news it might get a big one.

DreamWorks has been looking for a way out of its partnership with Viacom and the studio is reported to be on the verge of a new deal with one of India's biggest companies.

Stacey Vanek-Smith reports.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: When Dreamworks and Viacom's Paramount got together in 2006, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

[Clip from "Dreamgirls"]: We are dream girls...

DreamWorks produced hits like Dreamgirls, Transformers and Sweeney Todd, but claimed Paramount was taking all the credit. Then Viacom's CEO said if Steven Spielberg left, it would be "completely immaterial" to the company's financial future

[Clip from "Sweeney Todd"]: I will have vengeance...

DreamWorks and Reliance could be a very strong match. The Indian conglomerate has agreed to sink a half-billion dollars into the Hollywood studio and Reliance, already a telecom and financial services giant, wants to build an entertainment empire and create a presence in the U.S.

Michael Speier is the executive editor of Variety.

Michael Speier: They're wrapping up deals with stars like George Clooney and now, all the sudden, they're going to fund a studio and be such a player from the onset.

And Hollywood could use some more players. Wall Street's private equity firms were financing a lot of big screen projects, but they've been pulling out. Neeraj Kaushal with the National Bureau of Economic Research says Reliance is well suited for this kind of partnership.

Neeraj Kaushal: Reliance is very good at raising money nationally as well as internationally, so it would be a good deal for both of them.

And make DreamWorks part of an international media empire.

In Los Angeles, I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.

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