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Spielberg the Entrepreneur

The year 1982 was a big one for Steven Spielberg. E.T. became the first movie to be produced by Amblin Entertainment. Spielberg founded the company, using the name of his first professional film and the popular logo from the movie E.T.

Amblin was only a production studio, and never distributed its own movies. It worked with other studios such as Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Warner Brother Studios.

Amblin films were an immediate success. While some movies such as Money Pit, were not received well, many Amblin movies became American icons. Movies produced or directed by Spielberg would usually have an Amblin logo on the poster. But as always, for Spielberg, great was not enough.

In 1994 Dreamworks SKG became the first new movie studio in Hollywood in over 75 years. The partnership between Steven Spielberg, Jeffery Katzenberg, and David Geffen formed a media company that would reach into the fields of live action and animated movies (both traditional and CGI), music, computer games, arcades, television production and movie distribution. Unlike Amblin, which Spielberg owns 100% of, Dreamworks is only 22% owned by Spielberg. Other investors include Katzenberg, Geffen, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and a few of their closest friends.

By 1997, Spielberg's annual income had reached $283 million. He was the highest paid entertainment figure of that year. This money comes from a variety of investments:

Amblin (100% ownership) $400 million value
* Dreamworks (22% ownership) $550 million
* Dive! (restaurant chain) (50% ownership) $6 million
* idealab! (internet content) (15% ownership) $7.5 million

These figures are accurate as of June 1998 according to Business Week. They give Spielberg an estimated value of $1 billion.

Business week also had a break down of how Spielberg collects his money from a movie. "Anatomy of a Spielberg Hit" shows how much of Jurassic Park's box office will be taken home by Spielberg, and how.