Dreamworks Animation

by Emma Sauerwein

DreamWorks Animation SKG

1000 Flower Street, Glendale, California 91201

Phone: 818-695-5000 Website: www.dreamworksanimation.com

 Background

DreamWorks Animation SKG is a publicly traded, American animation studio, producing computer generated animated feature films, television series and live entertainment properties. Appealing to a demographically as well as geographically widespread audience, DreamWorks Animation is able to garner success year after year.

DreamWorks SKG was founded in 1994 by three entertainment giants, Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg. DreamWorks was able to begin creating its computer generated films in 1995 with the film, Antz, after signing a co-production deal with Pacific Data Images [3]. In 2000, DreamWorks gave animation its own business division which would regularly produce animated features. It wasn’t until October of 2004 that DreamWorks Animation SKG was spun off as its own publicly traded company, headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg [1]. Since its founding in 2004, DreamWorks Animation SKG has released 24 films, 15 of which are included in the 50 highest grossing animated features of all time [2]. The animation studio works primarily out of its original campus in Glendale, California.

Key Executives

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg, Chief Executive Officer and Director

  • Lew Coleman, Chief Financial Officer and President
  • Ann Daly, Chief Operating Officer
  • Anne Globe, Chief Marketing Officer
  • Heather O’Connor, Chief Accounting Officer [17]

DreamWorks Animation in the News

  • DreamWorks Animation released its latest CG animated film, Rise of the Guardians, November 21, 2012. Despite heavy advertising and high hopes of an estimated $55 million opening weekend, the film only brought in $32.6 million [8]. Unfortunately analysts are calling it one of the company’s most disappointing releases and the numbers are further reflected in the 5% decrease in stock, 94 cents to $17.11 [8]. This is news comes as a surprise due to the seasonal characters reflecting the time of year as well as a lack of competition on opening weekend. Janney Montgomery Scott financial analyst, Tony Wible, predicted the $55 million in revenue as well as a $39 million profit estimate. However, if the film continues in its slump internationally, DreamWorks Animation could be looking at a $15 million loss.

  • DreamWorks Animation announced in August its plans to develop a $3.1 billion cultural and entertainment district in Shanghai with its partners in China. This endeavor will be named The Dream Center and will contain many shops, reaturants and theaters upon its expected completion in 2016 [5]. The Chinese government is encouraging projects aimed at the metropolis’ middle class in order to aid the nation’s media industries. This six block district will also include Oriental DreamWorks, a new joint venture studio formed with Chinese partners, China Media Capital, the Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance. The theme will be Kung Fu Panda as the film’s third installment will be filmed and produced in Shanghai [5].

 

 

 

 

  • This summer, July 2012, DreamWorks Animation CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg announced the creation of an indoor theme park at American Dream at the Meadowlands, NJ based around the characters of famous DreamWorks Animation films [12]. “We look forward to working with Triple Five Worldwide to incorporate DreamWorks Animation characters, storytelling and technology into a unique and innovative family entertainment experience at the venue,” says Katzenberg. The theme park aims to include a water park, themed rides, ice skating rink, indoor ski park, restaurants as well as 1.7 million square feet of retail space.
  • Also at the end of the summer, DreamWorks Animation reported that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Classic Media, which owns some of the best known and enduring franchises for $155 million [11]. The deal was made with Boomerang Media Holdings LLC. Classic Media has a vast portfolio of intellectual property including 450 titles and 6,100 episodes of programming. Some of these esteemed titles include, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lassie, Where’s Waldo and Rocky and BullwinkleThe thousands of works from Classic Media will contribute characters and stories to the family friendly entertainment giant of DreamWorks Animation SKG. The company formerly known as Classic Media has been renamed to DreamWorks Classics [11].

Technology

  • Since 2009, DreamWorks Animation has committed to producing all future feature films in the 3D format [9]. This transformation involved a great deal of restructuring as well as educating from within the company. The CG animation process completely changed from its standard form of 2D. 3D has become more popular over the years as big name companies create 3D televisions and fellow studios commit to the 3D promise. CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, worked with exhibitors to get more compatible screens as well as with technology giant, Samsung, as a partner on the 3D launch [10]. In the first Samsung model, the “3D Kit” included a copy of DreamWorks Animation’s Monsters vs. Aliens.

  • In a forum hosted by USA Today at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications of Syracuse University, Katzenberg discussed the future of filmmaking technology. “3D is the greatest advancement in film history since the advancement of color in the ’30s.” When asked about the future of the growing technological process Katzenberg made it evident that while he has complete confidence in 3D, he also knows that it will take time before we see progress. “The transition from black and white to color took 20 years, the transition to sound took 8 years, I think we’ve only begun to see the effects.”
  • On November 8, 2012, DreamWorks Animation released the latest of its collection of mobile and tablet apps in conjunction with leading smartphone games publisher, PikPok. The newest game is in relation to the recently released Rise of the Guardians. Dash n Drop is available for $0.99 at the iTunes App Store as well as Google Play for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android [18]. The launch trailer for this app can be found at: Dash n Drop Launch Trailer.

Financials

  • Due to Hurricane Sandy which hit much of the east coast at the end of October 2012, DreamWorks Animation had to postpone its quarterly results announcement until Thursday, November 1st [6]. The company’s third quarter ending September 30, 2012 resulted in a total revenue of $186.3 million and a net income of $24.4 million. This was a significant increase compared to third quarter of 2011 which garnered $160.8 million in revenue and a net income of $19.7 million [13]. The company’s success can be attributed to the international box office success of Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wantedwhich is now the fifth highest grossing film globally of the year.
Upcoming Releases
  • The next DreamWorks Animation film following Rise of the Guardians is an animated feature called The CroodsSet to release on March 22, 2013, the directors are the team of Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders [16]. This will be the first DreamWorks Animation film distributed by 20th Century Fox as opposed to Paramount, as the

    company signed a five year distribution agreement in August 2012 [14]. The film is set in the prehistoric era and stars famous actors such as Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage and Ryan Reynolds.

    Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ4QJCjvN8c

  •  As Chief Marketing Officer, Anne Globe, discussed at a question-answer forum at Syracuse University, all DreamWorks Animation films take four years to produce and therefore the slate has been announced through 2016. A film slated for 2013 titled, Turbowill be released on July 19. This will be the 27th installment in the DreamWorks Animation collection, directed by David Soren and starring voice actors of Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph [15]Turbo is a story about a garden snail that has an impossible dream of becoming the fastest snail in the world.
Sources

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