Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What a Difference

... a weekend makes.

The financial press reports nice things about DreamWorks Animation:

• "Home" outperformed estimates and provides a short-term boost to Dreamworks Animation as the only 2015 release.

• Television revenue set to hit $200 to $250 million in 2015 led by new shows on Netflix.

• Dreamworks Animation signs new deal with Verizon for 200 hours of original content, strengthening television segment and diversifying importance of Netflix.

• Consumer products and increasing storyline to watch with new television launches on Netflix in 2015 and new "Kung Fu Panda" and "Trolls" movies in 2016. ...

You get yourself a hit, the press gets nicer. It was only a couple of eyeblinks ago that there was this:

Massive writedowns. Failed sales. Deep staffing cuts. ...

The company’s suffering won’t be alleviated when “Home,” its upcoming alien invasion film, lands on Friday. The picture is on track to open to between $30 million and $35 million, a respectable result but for the fact that it also carries a $130 million pricetag. ...

Also this.

“The last eight months have been the worst in the company’s 20-year history,” Katzenberg told Wall Street analysts on Feb. 24, as he licked his wounds and reflected on a period of painful cost-cutting that resulted in layoffs, the closure of DWA’s Northern California studio, and a serious re-examination of its creative choices. Analysts and stockholders don’t care about the past, however. They want to know whether Katzenberg has a plan for the future.

That future is dependent on hit movies, something DWA has been sorely lacking. ...

DreamWorks is still on wobbly under-pinnings, but having a non-sequel make some cash helps the company a lot, because next year there are two features released, one of them a sequel out of a hit franchise. But let's not kid ourselves, Jeffrey Katzenberg is still performing a high-wire act. His company is a stand-alone, and too many missteps will send it plummeting.

For the moment, however, the skies over Lake Katzenberg in Glendale look brighter.


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