DreamWorks Animation

by Alex Wenner

dreamworks_animation_logo_1

1000 Flower St.
Glendale, CA, 91201, United States
(818) 695-5000
dreamworksanimation.com

Origins:

DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen on the cover of Time Magazine, March 27, 1995. Coutesy of malibucomplete.com

Co-founded in 1994 by entertainment veterans Stephen Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, DreamWorks Animation SKG has released a total of twenty-six animated feature films that have grossed over $10 billion worldwide (as of 2012). In 1995, DreamWorks embarked on a co-production venture with Pacific Data Images. This new unit was created to produce computer-animated motion pictures, beginning with 1998’s Antz. In 2005, Viacom purchased the live-action division of DreamWorks, only to end this partnership in 2008. Reliance Entertainment now acts as its parents company. 20th Century Fox took over international marketing and distribution for SKG in 2012, and the SKG studio now handles its own domestic distribution. In addition to feature films, DreamWorks produces television programming and other family entertainment. [1] [2]

Key Executives:

Spielberg, Courtesy of static-I3.org

Jeffery Katzenberg, Courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

Jeffrey Katzenberg – CEO and Director: Directed Disney‘s animation unit to successes like The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and The Lion King (1994) before co-founding DreamWorks Animation in ’94. Heavily involved in early SKG animation hits.

Lew Coleman – President and CFO: Spent 37 years in the banking industry before joining SKG in 2007.

Stephen Spielberg– Principal Partner: One of Hollywood’s most recognizable names and

Lew Coleman, Courtesy of dreamworksanimation.com

talents, Steven Spielberg co-founded the studio. From 1997 to 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull , all Spielberg films were released through DreamWorks live-action division. [3] [4]

Financials: [5]

Revenue: $749 million (2012)

Operating Income: -$65 million (2012)

Animation Portfolio:
DreamWorks has enjoyed considerable success, both commercial and critical, with its large library of animated films. SKG’s films boast a $430 million gross average, an astounding number second to only Pixar. Four of DreamWorks films rank amongst the fifty highest-grossing films of all time, and the studio can lay claim to sixteen of the fifty highest-grossing animated features of all time. Though the studio has a history of traditionally-animated films (The Road to El Dorado, Sinbad), SKG has confirmed that all future films will be computer-animated. [6]

Chicken Run (2000)

Courtesy of impawards.com

 

Co-financed and distributed by DreamWorks for Aardman Animation, the stop-motion animated Chicken Run marked one of the company’s first forays into animated motion pictures. It was a decisive success, grossing nearly $228 million worldwide with a $42 million budget.

 

 

 

Shrek (2001)

DreamWorks found solid gold with the release of Shrek, a box-office smash-hit that

Courtesy of traileraddict.com

catapulted the studio to the forefront of film animation alongside studios like Pixar and Disney. The green ogre grossed $485 million worldwide and earned the Academy’s first award for Best Animated Feature. The computer animation used in Shrek was different from the traditional animation methods used in previous DreamWorks features, and the film’s release marked a subtle change in direction for the studio; now it would focus its efforts almost entirely on computer animation. Its sequel, Shrek 2would go on to shatter box-office records in 2004 ($920 million worldwide gross).

Madagascar (2005)

Courtesy of impawards.com

 

Following the computer-animated tradition of Shrek, Madagascar continued the string of massive success for SKG, taking in $530 million worldwide in ’05.

Kung Fu Panda (2008)

impawards.com

Jack Black stars in this computer animated comedy that marked DreamWorks biggest opening for a non-sequel, and the highest grossing animated feature of the year ($632 million worldwide).

Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Expected to launch a new franchise, Guardians (featuring a re-envisioning of classic characters Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, etc.)  was considered a flop despite being well-received critically and grossing over $300 million worldwide. It also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Animated Feature Film. [7]

Courtesy of yodale.org

Recent Activity:

February 26, 2013 – DreamWorks Animation reported a quarterly loss of nearly $83 million, mainly due to the disappointing performance of Rise of the Guardians (which still brought in over $300 million to an estimated $145 million budget, excluding marketing costs). CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg attributes Guardians lackluster performance to poor marketing. Another film in production, Me & My Shadow, was sent back into development, accruing more losses for the studio. As a result of the studios reset setbacks, SKG announced a series of layoffs that will see around 350 employees lose their jobs by the end of the year. This resulted in a small drop in SKG stock.[8]

March 13, 2013 – Despite watching its stock price drop in the wake of its 4th quarter earnings report, DreamWorks Animation SKG stock experienced an 8% rise after an analyst predicted the studio’s new release, The Croodswill exceed box office expectations. As of April 7th, The Croods has earned over $330 million worldwide in two and a half weeks. [9] [10]

March 20, 2013 – DreamWorks Animation releases the theatrical trailer for its upcoming summer 2013 animated feature, Turbo. Starring voice talent such as Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg, Paul Giamatti and Luis Guzman, the film chronicles a snail’s dream of becoming a racing legend, and will be distributed by 20th Century Fox. [11]

Upcoming Projects- Even with the recent theatrical release of The Croods and the summer release of Turbo, DreamWorks Animation SKG has a full slate of movies set for production. Two sequels to SKG’s acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon (2010) are set for release in 2014 and 2016. In fall 2013, SKG plans to release Mr. Peabody & Sherman, a Rocky & Bullwinkle spin-off. With five planned releases including new films from the Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda franchises, 2015 figures to be a huge year for Animation SKG. [12] 

Sources:

[1]  http://animation.about.com/od/industryprofiles/p/dreamworks.htm

[2] http://www.dreamworksanimation.com/company

[3] http://quotes.wsj.com/DWA/company-people

[4] http://www.forbes.com/companies/dreamworks-animation/

[5] http://quotes.wsj.com/DWA?mod=DNH_S_cq

[6] http://animation.about.com/od/industryprofiles/p/dreamworks.htm

[7] http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/series/DreamworksAnimation.php

[8]  http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/26/dreamworks-reports-82-7-million-loss/

[9] http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dreamworks-animation-stock-surges-8-428424

[10] http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=croods.htm

[11] http://www.firstshowing.net/2013/watch-dreamworks-animations-speedy-theatrical-trailer-for-turbo/

[12] http://screenrant.com/dreamworks-animation-lineup-2013-2016/all/1/

Comments are closed.