The team started the new venture with over $2 billion in capital.
But they didn't have their first blockbuster hit until they released "Saving Private Ryan" (with Tom Hanks) in 1998, critically acclaimed as the most realistic war movie ever made.
Subsequent films have included the Oscar-winning Best Picture of 1999, "American Beauty" (with Kevin Spacey), "Galaxy Quest" (with Tim Allen), "Forces of Nature" with Sandra Bullock & Ben Affleck, " "The Haunting" (with Liam Neeson), "What Lies Beneath" (with Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer), Robert Redford's "The Legend of Bagger Vance," with Matt Damon & Will Smith and the blockbuster "Gladiator" (starring Russell Crowe.)
More recent releases have included Speilberg's Oscar-nominated
"Munich", the Tom Cruise
sci-fi hit "War of the Worlds," "Lemony
Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events" (with Jim
Carrey), "Meet the Fockers," "Collateral"
(with Tom Cruise), "Seabiscuit"
(with Tobey Maguire), "The
Stepford Wives,""House of Sand & Fog," "Win
A Date with Tad Hamilton," "The Ring," "Catch
Me If You Can" (with Leonardo DiCaprio), "The
Time Machine," "Minority Report" (also
with Tom Cruise), "Road
to Perdition" (with Tom Hanks),
"A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," "Cast Away"
and "Almost Famous."
Another (computer) animated effort, "Antz," included the voices of Woody Allen, Meryl Streep, Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Jennifer Lopez, John Mahoney and Christopher Walken. And they've since turned out another full-length animated epic: "Road to El Dorado," as well as the claymation hit "Chicken Run" (voiced by Mel Gibson.)
But the animation department really hit it big in
2001, when they released the spectacularly popular "Shrek",
followed by its huge sequel "Shrek 2". Since then, they've
also given us "Shark Tale" and the popular "Madagascar".
company also runs DreamWorks Records and Dreamworks Games.
DreamWorks was planning to build a state-of-the-art studio in the Playa Vista area on the west side of Los Angeles, on the site of the old Hughes Aircraft factory, near Marina Del Rey. It sounded spectacular on paper. The proposed studio would have resembled a 47-acre college campus built around an 8-acre lake, and featuring at least 8 (and perhaps as many as 18) film & TV sound stages (including some in the very hanger where Hughes built his famous Spruce Goose) One would have been the world's largest sound stage (at 42,500 feet.) All in all, they were talking about they're talking about building 1 1/2 million square feet of studio space, highlighted by cutting-edge technology.
The much larger Playa Vista masterplan (currently
referred to as the "Entertainment, Media & Technology campus")
called for an entire community to eventually be built at the 1,087-acre
site - a "cultural center for the Westside," as Spielberg put
it - including residential neighborhoods with 13,000 new homes, parks,
retail stores, museums, churches, and schools.
But on July 1, 1999, DreamWorks announced that they were pulling out of the project, citing financial reasons. Whether they will build their studio somewhere else is yet to be decided.
(The new DreamWorks studio would have been the first new studio built in the Los Angeles area in 70 years - since Warner Bros. built their Burbank studio. But they were beaten to the punch by the new Manhattan Beach Studios, a project which opened in mid-1998 about ten miles to the south of the DreamWorks site.)
In the meanwhile, DreamWorks is working out of offices and soundstages at Universal Studios (where Spielberg's Amblin offices were located), as well as a skyscraper next to Universal.
Oddly enough, DreamWorks already has a working studio of its own
for its animation department! It's a rather spectacular looking
building, located right next to Disney's Imagineering headquarters, at
1400 Flower Street, in Glendale.
And in recent years, animation has been Dreamworks' primary success, with animated franchises such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon.
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