Universal discussing Spielberg contract

Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:18 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Universal Orlando says it has begun discussions to address a potentially expensive buyout clause in its consulting contract with famed director Steven Spielberg — a provision that, if exercised, could cost the resort several hundred million dollars. The buyout clause is contained in a 22-year-old contract through which Spielberg serves as an exclusive creative consultant to Universal, helping design attractions and lending his name to promotional materials. In return, Spielberg receives a percentage of Universal's gross revenue in perpetuity; the resort has paid him more than $90 million over the past five years, according to regulatory filings.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:40 AM
DaveStroem's avatar

I guess it is good to be Steven.

Before you can be older and wiser you first have to be young and stupid.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 10:56 AM
janfrederick's avatar

I'm just not sure why he'd want to negotiate with them. Sounds like he'd have no reason to change anything.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Tuesday, August 11, 2009 11:35 AM
The Mole's avatar

Sounds like Universal is buying out, because they realize his name doesn't have the weight as it did before, he hasn't developed any new rides with them, and they are paying him to just sit and pick his nose. With Potter now, who needs whatever non-event movie he'll come out with next?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:28 PM

^Haha...how true!

But haven't I heard Spielberg makes like $1,000 a minute just by doing nothing or something insane like that?!

I'm all for capitalism, but that's too much money!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 2:39 PM

Well, don't forget that Spielberg was the EP on Transformers. The biggest new non Potter attraction going into Singapore and Hollywood.

While it's not an Orlando attraction, you can see the downstream impact, if he "refuses" to license his stuff in the future.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

You guys are reading this wrong. It's the opt-out that would cost Universal more in this case, not less. In their current condition, the point is that it's cheaper to pay his annual retainer than the big lump sum exit.

And Spielberg is every bit as relevant today as he always has been. Between his own films and Dreamworks, few people in Hollywood have the clout he does.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense


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