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Friday, 19 May, 2000, 12:51 GMT 13:51 UK
Woody's Dream ticket
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Woody Allen
Partners in comedy: Jeffrey Katzenberg and Woody Allen
Woody Allen has agreed a deal with Steven Spielberg's Hollywood studio Dreamworks to promote his comedy films.

The actor-turned-director signed up for his latest movie Small Time Crooks and extended the agreement to cover his next three projects.

Allen, 64, has suffered a lean period over the last few years after his long-standing distributor, Orion Pictures, experienced financial difficulties.

Since then his movies have passed through various companies, including Miramax, Sony Pictures Classics, Fine Line and Columbia TriStar.


Woody Allen
Allen hopes new deal will boost audience figures for his movies

This time Allen is confident he has got it right and has already formed a good relationship with former Disney exectuive Jeffrey Katzenberg, who set up Dreamworks with Spielberg and David Geffen.

Pipeline

The pair worked together on the studio's 1998 animation Antz, in which Allen provided the voice for the lead character.

The Dreamworks deal only covers comedies, but Allen says he has several ideas in the pipeline.

"I thought I ought to start making some of these ideas because I'm getting older, and who knows what could happen to me," he said.

"I don't want to have them lying around in my drawer as unrealised, unattempted great comic ideas that I never got to."

Allen's last two films, Celebrity and Sweet and Lowdown, disappointed at the US box office, each grossing around $5m (3.1m), but he is confident Dreamworks will boost audience figures for Small Time Crooks.

"If anybody can, Dreamworks can," he reasoned.


Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg: one of the founders of Dreamworks

"Everybody thinks Small Time Crooks is going to be commerically successful because it's got a bank robbery and it's full of gags.

"I hope it is, but I'm used to the fact that expectations are always high and nobody can ever figure out why the films don't get an audience."

Katzenberg has given Allen his full backing, but admitted: "It's not as though as though we're counting on 30 or 40 million. If it goes into double digits, it'll be a success."

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See also:

14 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Branagh's celebrity turn
09 May 00 | Entertainment
Lego builds Spielberg partnership
05 May 00 | Entertainment
Spielberg sued over Soldiers film
20 May 00 | Entertainment
Woody Allen's box office steal
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