updated 11:05 am EST, Wed February 27, 2008
DreamWorks Stuck in HD DVD
Despite Toshiba's discontinuation of HD DVD, movie studio DreamWorks is still locked into a contract to ship HD movies in the format, company chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said late yesterday. The Hollywood executive noted his company had an "obligation" to fulfill and that the largely necessary switch to Blu-ray was Toshiba's responsbility: the electronics maker will have to give permission to DreamWorks to publish movies in the surviving format until the contract expires or Toshiba releases the studio from terms.
"It really is in [Toshiba's] court at this point to really declare what the next step will be," Katzenberg says. "We're poised either way to jump into the marketplace when the conditions are right."
The official also effectively confirmed a long-held belief that DreamWorks' parent company Paramount had been paid off to support HD DVD, noting that the smaller movie house had been "well-compensated" for dropping HD DVD support in August of last year. The 2007 contract is rumored to be worth $150 million and may involve a large enough sum that DreamWorks may see more benefit from either continuing its short-term HD DVD releases or dropping any HD movie releases until Blu-ray is returned to the table.
Paramount itself was the last to switch to Blu-ray but did not extend its move to DreamWorks.