Brooks Barnes on companies like DreamWorks working with partners on their own tablets:

Entertainment companies have been surprised at how speedily children have taken to tablets, sometimes forgoing TV sets altogether. As a result, DreamWorks, Disney and their competitors are searching for ways to make it easier for users to find their characters on portable devices.

It’s a smart thing to try, but:

The DreamTab is not a toy. Switched into parent mode, it provides roughly the same computing power as an iPad, the companies said.

This seems like a mistake. “Roughly”? I bet it’s nowhere near as powerful at those price points. And people, be they children or adults, will not be fooled. I think they should pick one market and go after it. This is not going to compete with the iPad as an all-around tablet.

Pamela McClintock:

Generally, the studio is keeping budgets under $30 million, though movies Spielberg directs will be costlier. Delivery Man kept its cost down after Vaughn, who can command $5 million for a studio comedy, took a reduced fee in exchange for backend. The old DreamWorks would have spent far more to make the film. “They are being very careful and thoughtful about the movies they want to make,” says producer Frank Marshall, a longtime Spielberg confidant who has a producing deal with DreamWorks.

Who would have thought that Dreamworks, when it launched in 1994 with Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen as the new Hollywood moguls, would turn into more of a small, almost art house studio?

While the cable companies may not be directly involved here, they should be really worried about deals like this. These types of deals will keep coming, and over time, the value of cable television service will continue to fall.

I just wonder how long it will be until HBO goes direct? That is, how long until you can buy it for a monthly fee without needing cable service at all? Because I’ll sign up in a second when that happens. And I bet it will happen soon.