Thursday, May 21, 2009

DreamWorks' Future

While TAG was in negotiations discussing the terms of its next contract, Jeffrey K. was holding forth about how DreamWorks Animation is doing ... and is likely to do in the near future:

DreamWorks Animation SKG Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg expects the company's television series and specials to boost revenue, and film marketing costs to drop in 2009.

Katzenberg told analysts on Tuesday that DreamWorks sole 2009 film release, "Monsters vs. Aliens," has grossed $191 million at domestic box offices so far and that DVD sales of "Kung Fu Panda" and "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" had "set us up for possible year-over-year earnings growth in 2009."

DreamWorks is "poised to have our single biggest year ever" in 2010 because of its theatrical release schedule of an unprecedented three feature films, including a sequel to its blockbuster "Shrek" franchise ...

DreamWorks has built its viability on the "hit follows hit" business model. And guess what? Despite the sneering of some Pixar afficionados, the company has been pulling it off.

And I think that Mr. Katzenberg is correct about 2010 being a gangbuster year for DreamWorks Animation. Not only will three features be rolling down the distribution pipe, but Shrek Goes Fourth is going to do big numbers. Staffers have been telling me this entry is far better crafted than the last Shrek go-round, and (of course) it's the company's tallest, strongest tentpole.

So Jeffrey isn't being hyperbolic about DreamWorks Animation's prospects for Oh-Ten. He's being fact-based.

12 comments:

Cody S. said...

Shrek Goes Fourth could be the masterpiece of the series...but that still won't rinse out the terrible taste of the third film's offerings out of people's mouths.

The tentpole may be tall - but when you've got a weak mark on it that sucker is prone to bend.

Father of the Pride said...

"DreamWorks has built its viability on the "hit follows hit" business model. And guess what? Despite the sneering of some Pixar afficionados, the company has been pulling it off."Why would any of the Pixar partizans sneer at the "hit follows hit" business model ? That's exactly what Pixar has followed and it's worked out even better in Pixar's case. (and no Flushed Away's, Bee Movie's, or Sinbad's , in Pixar's stellar line-up of past hits) .

Good on them both, sez I . The more hits the merrier. Things are looking UP !

Robert Moon said...

for the commenter above me, i think they're saying "hit follows hit" to mean sequels, which pixar doesn't really do, apart from toy story and the upcoming cars.

Steve Hulett said...

Yess!

Except for Toy Story, Cars and any other movies to which Pixar chooses to do sequels, no sequels are being done by Emryville. At all.

Other point: I wasn't referring to "sequels." I was talking about "hits," movies that make lots and lots of money.

Jimmy said...

They bet on How To Train Your Dragon to be their fourth franchise. That series got 7 books already and if it becomes a hit it'll be a gold mine for years to come (and finally they can stop with Shrek). MVA failed to do so it gets a TV series.

"Hit follows hit" is every studio's model. Blue Sky does that, Pixar does that, Disney used to do that and soon can do that again. Every studio has its low points, even DW has its share of bad business and people call on that. Why sneering toward "some Pixar afficionados"?

Anonymous said...

Following Jimmy's logic, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar were both failures since they are getting tv treatments also.

Anonymous said...

No better way to dilute a film's relevance than to spin a series from it. You get a two-fer with it, too. You also prevent original television material from, well, materializing. TV becomes a graveyard of derivative programming that stagnates the medium, just like the fate of Disney television animation. Nickelodeon is quickly becoming Dreamwork's bitch.

Now with endless sequels, you get to dilute the films even before their poison bleeds over to tv, too! Good ol' JK. Such a showman!

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess Goldman is proven wrong! We have THE only person in Hollywood who knows everything posting right here at 6:37.

Tell us more....

Jimmy said...

Madagascar got a spin-off with its penguins - about the only things funny. I still believe a Po series is a bad idea. They can have a series for the Furious Five and keep Po on the big screen.

Perhaps MvA is a failure after all, it may not even get a full series.

Anonymous said...

No better way to dilute a film's relevance than to spin a series from it. Yes!

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the Toy Story TV spin off. How could that bastard Jeffrey Katzenberg do such a horrible thing to Toy Story? Good thing those Pixar guys have better taste.

Anonymous said...

^ How do you know the bastard made that decision all by himself? If memory serves, long after Katzenberg left Disney there was talk of making TS3 and yet there wasn't a Katzenberg anywhere to be seen pushing for that project...I just love how people bring out 15 year old stories.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the Toy Story TV spin off. How could that bastard Jeffrey Katzenberg do such a horrible thing to Toy Story? Good thing those Pixar guys have better taste.

This guy is an idiot and should disappear for being so stupid.

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