Author Topic: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?  (Read 2027 times)

Nameless

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What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« on: May 22, 2014, 03:26:50 AM »
DreamWorks Animation has not been doing so well recently. The company has lost money on Rise of the Guardians (http://variety.com/2013/film/news/dreamworks-animation-takes-87-million-write-down-for-rise-of-the-guardians-819555/), Turbo (http://www.deadline.com/2014/02/dreamworks-animation-takes-13-5m-charge-for-turbo-as-q4-earnings-lag-analyst-estimates/), and Mr. Peabody & Sherman (http://variety.com/2014/film/news/dreamworks-animation-takes-57-million-writedown-cites-mr-peabody-1201166905/) - three of their last four movies. However, all faced competition from other, better-marketed, more highly-regarded animated films (ROTG was up against Wreck-It Ralph, Turbo was up against Monsters University and Despicable Me 2, and Peabody faced off with The LEGO Movie).

In addition, the company has embarked on a diversification strategy in the last two years, acquiring Classic Media, the rights to the Troll dolls, the YouTube multi-channel network AwesomenessTV, and the preschool shows produced by Chapman Entertainment, in addition to starting a book publishing division and a new "DreamWorksTV" YouTube channel. Time will tell if the diversification pays off in the long run...

I'm starting to wonder (and worry) that the DreamWorks brand is tainted. They have made little attempt to escape the "star power" image that defined them a decade ago, but whose novelty has worn off, and there are also those who won't forgive them for Shark Tale and Bee Movie. Also, the US animation industry would be much worse for the absence of DWA, as they are the largest animation employer in the country.

Will they succeed in turning themselves around? I hope so, but as long as Jeffrey Katzenberg remains its CEO, I don't think they can do it...

EDIT: I forgot, they swapped the release dates for Home and The Penguins of Madagascar: http://variety.com/2014/film/news/penguins-of-madagascar-release-date-home-1201187374/
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 04:47:17 AM by Nameless »

Inkwolf

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 08:08:56 AM »
That's sad to hear.  Rise of the Guardians was a great movie, and seems popular after the fact.  Are the losses box-office only?  They may be making it up in video sales.

Diversification sounds good, but it kind of worries me how all these media giants seem to be seizing control of all the publishing and broadcasting channels.  I mean, when Disney publishes a book, and prints reviews of it in all their Disney-owned news outlets by Disney-paid reviewers, and advertises the heck out of it on all the Disney-owned channels, and makes a Diisney movie based on their own book, and hypes THAT in all their media...what chance is there that individual art and independent works can survive in the fact of these commercial giants with their own competing products to promote?

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Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 07:33:23 PM »
They do seem to be box-office only; even without notorious "Hollywood accounting", I've been led to believe that very few movies actually do turn a profit theatrically, and that ancillary markets (not only home video, but also TV and streaming) are how movies turn profits.

Also, the Variety article I linked about the release date swap failed to mention Penguins's real competition: Big Hero 6.

Avaitor

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 03:18:38 PM »
I heard that they're going through with a Shrek 5 after all. Maybe they'll just revert back to sequels for a while and cut back on the riskier originals?
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Spark Of Spirit

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 03:33:17 PM »
Can't we just have a PnB 2 instead?

That's what I want. The original was better than all the Shrek movies.
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Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2014, 12:57:54 AM »
They're being sued over various financial statements.

This has been a really bad year for DWA. I don't know if there is any relief coming for them either; the company isn't an attractive takeover target because of its dual-class stock structure (the Class A shares, with one vote each, are publicly-traded as "DWA", and the Class B shares, with fifteen votes each, are all owned by Jeffrey Katzenberg) and its lack of recent hits or popular IP (as best as I can tell they basically have Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Where's Waldo, and Olivia - and those last two came from Classic Media) doesn't help either. Unless they can hang in long enough for Katzenberg to install a good successor and/or get some more hits, they're doomed.

Edit: got the stock information mixed up
« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 01:35:21 AM by Nameless »

Inkwolf

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2014, 08:18:37 AM »
Kung Fu Panda 3 will be coming out next year, too won't it?  That's a pretty popular series.

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Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 02:06:58 PM »
Fairly, but honestly, "popular" by DWA standards seems like a different kind of popular to me. KFP doesn't seem like a household name, like Shrek, and it doesn't have a prominent, devoted fanbase, like HTTYD does.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 02:20:55 PM »
Just give me a Puss 'n Boots sequel. That's all I want.
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Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 02:45:25 PM »
You'll get your wish...in 2018.

To be honest, the timing seems really crappy to me. There is a Puss in Boots TV show that's coming to Netflix and is supposed to keep the franchise fresh in the meantime, but who knows how long it will last? A theatrical sequel seven years after the original seems unwise to me.

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2014, 02:52:32 PM »
SEVEN years.  :o

Oy vey.

Well, here's hoping its worth it.
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Skeeter Valentine

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2014, 06:37:36 PM »
Hopefully they'll die out and take their derivative storytelling, cliche characters, repetitive jokes, and lazy animation with them.

And before someone says DRAGON, keep in mind DWA involvement in those movies was fairly minimal.

Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2014, 08:07:05 PM »
I hope DreamWorks Classics and its IP lands somewhere decent. As Classic Media, they weren't a very competent steward, but I don't think that things like Rocky and Bullwinkle deserve to be buried in a vault, and they do have those old Rankin/Bass Christmas specials too. They do own a lot of old characters like Lassie and Underdog that had their time in the sun long ago and probably shouldn't be brought back, though.

Daikun

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2014, 08:32:41 PM »

Nameless

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Re: What will become of DreamWorks Animation?
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2014, 04:38:06 PM »
And on top of that, Lassie is now a top priority for DWA.

I understand that they have to make something of their Classic Media acquisition, but to be honest, if they couldn't count on Mr. Peabody & Sherman to turn a profit for them quickly enough, why do they have any hopes for Lassie?