Snider: Tentpoles remain key to biz

DreamWorks CEO chats at Future of Film Summit

Despite their breathtaking costs, mega-budget tentpoles will remain the key component for major studios, according to DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider.

“The blockbuster business is reliable,” Snider said Tuesday as the keynote speaker at the Future of Film Summit at The London in West Hollywood.

“Blockbusters are what translate into cultural events, although every now and again, you’ll get something like ‘The Blind Side’ that will play forever,” she said.

Snider said the current preference for event films stems from the studios addressing the plethora of choices faced by consumers. “People want to have a shared cultural experience so they tend to go the one choice that’s making the most noise,” she explained.

The desire to aim for tentpoles also has been pushed by studios facing the tough task of maintaining profitability in gross participation deals with A-list stars. .

Snider noted that DreamWorks, which has a distrbution deal through Disney, has a pair of tentpoles prepped for next year – Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys and Aliens” and Shawn Levy’s “Real Steel.”.

Snider stresed several times during the session that hard work is the key to success and described the current DreamWorks’ personality as “nerdy and hard-working.”

She also admitted that she’s grappling with sorting out finding ways to maximize revenues amid a declining DVD market without cannibalizing the thatrical market.

“The pressure is on to figure out VOD,” she added.

Snider said she’s hoping to continue support for specialty-style pics such as her studio’s “The Help” and expressed strong support for the Weinstein Co.’s “The King’s Speech.”

“That’s the movie I’m dying to see,” she added.

Snider was interviewed by Steven Gaydos, executive editor of Variety.

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