Thursday, January 06, 2011

Sales Prediction

The LA Times forecasts:

• DreamWorks Animation will push for a lower distribution fee with Paramount Pictures, but the Viacom-owned studio will probably resist. That could prompt DreamWorks boss Jeffrey Katzenberg to pair up with another studio or even sell the company outright. ...

I've long thought that DWA will be sold to a conglomerate sooner or later. It's the only stand-alone studio still standing. And that fact that it's stood -- and prospered -- this long is a tribute to Mr. Katzenberg.

You have to admit, it's a challenging business model (and the one Pixar used before becoming part of the Diz Co.): Produce a hit, produce another hit, then produce another hit. Rinse and repeat.

Obviously it's a tough high-wire act, and if DWA is sold in the next 24-36 months, I won't be surprised.

43 comments:

Unknown said...

Couldn't laika be considered standalone as well?

Anonymous said...

Well all good things must come to an end. DreamWorks and DreamWankers will still have their movies. I just wishing that their would be another stand alone studio who can still deliver hits.

Anonymous said...

Any chance Disney buys Dreamworks and rehires Jeffrey Katzenberg to replace Lasseter as the head of WDAS?

I know it would be terrible for animators who lucked out and escaped the Disney model to DWA only to see them back where they started, but if Katzenberg is part of the deal, that might help ease things, wouldn't it?

And it would be poetic justice to see Katzenberg send Lasseter back up north (where he belongs anyway).

Anonymous said...

Well, it'd be a hell of a lot better purchase than the Muppets, but still...I wouldn't want Disney to buy Dreamworks. Dreamworks has provided the competition Disney needs to wake up out of its stupor and try to make Disney-worthy films. Much like the Universal Harry Potter attraction is making the Disney Parks personnel sit up and take notice.

Please, Jeffrey, don't sell Dreamworks. Find a better distributor. I love both Disney and Dreamworks, but I'd take your How To Train Your Dragon movie over Tangled any day. Don't become a Disney subsidiary.

Anonymous said...

Oh for heavens sake, this is just a lot of Hulett speculation. We've heard this sort of thing for a long time now. There are no actual indications JK has any intentions to sell at all.

Steve Hulett said...

This is actually Hulett speculating on the LA Times speculation.

Anonymous said...

I think the speculation exists because the smart business move would be to sell DW, but I think Jeffrey has proven he isn't always about doing the smart thing. Starting DWA was never a smart move and continuing it for as many years as he has would never be considered smart business.
I think, despite the obnoxious behavior of anti DW fans, that Jeffrey actually loves what he's doing and will continue to want to run DW his way. I'd even go as far as to say that he might love animation more then a certain person up north who wants to grow up to be Walt does.

Mark Mayerson said...

I truly wish DreamWorks continued success, however I would remind everybody that a public company such as DWA is perpetually for sale. All it will take is somebody with a lot of cash and the desire to buy for the ownership to change, regardless of Jeffrey Katzenberg's wishes.

That's why it's so important to keep the stock price up. The lower it goes, the more DWA becomes a takeover target.

Anonymous said...

heck google can buy disney with cash right now if it really wanted.

Mike said...

Like how AOL bought Time Warner. We know how that turned out.

Anonymous said...

I'd take your How To Train Your Dragon movie over Tangled any day

It's not Disney's fault that the audience prefers the Disney formula over anything else. And when Disney tries to be different people complain that they want the formula back.

As for the Lasseter complaints. I didn't know there were so many people who hate him. He just wants to make movies. He has just as every right as Katzenberg.

And if Disney does buy DreamWorks, I hope it ends up as a subsidary similar to Pixar, so DreamWorks can still make their own films only they will be distributed by Disney.

Of course, this will probably mean Disney will have major control in the industry. Just speculation, of course...

Anonymous said...

And it would be poetic justice to see Katzenberg send Lasseter back up north (where he belongs anyway).

How is that poetic justice?!? Lasseter and Iger weren't the ones who declined his promotion, which made him leave the studio. All that was on Eisner, and since he's gone. I say justice was served back in 2005.

Against Anonymity said...

And if Disney does buy DreamWorks, I hope it ends up as a subsidary similar to Pixar, so DreamWorks can still make their own films only they will be distributed by Disney.

Well, Pixar was a special case. This was back when Disney was left with practically no leg to stand on and became immensley desperate. So I don't think Disney would be as generous to DreamWorks as they were with Pixar.

I would actually prefer someone like Fox or Warner Bros. buy DreamWorks to keep the competition going. I mean without DreamWorks we wouldn't have had a diversity in animated films. All other animation studios during the 90s tried to copy the Disney formula.

I say justice was served back in 2005.

Agreed, the Katzenberg regime may have given us the Big Four, but Lasseter is doing a great job as Captain over there on the S.S. Mouse House.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, JL's track record is 'stellar' at DFA....


roflmao

Anonymous said...

Yeah, JL's track record is 'stellar' at DFA....

Oh go back to your cave DreamWank. Katzenberg got greedy when Beauty and the Beast got that stupid Best Picture nom and that was his true downfall. He tried being anti-Disney and failed and now he's just being anti-Pixar. And judging by this it appears he will fail yet again.

Anonymous said...

Come out of your basement, Pixie, and into the sunlight. There's nothing 'anti-Pixar' about the DreamWorks films, and as for DW/Katzenberg failing, the box office numbers indicate that the movie-going public love the CG output of both studios.

Anonymous said...

Hey DreamWanker, are you forgetting that Pixar is the ONLY studio with NO flops?

Anonymous said...

Sigh. I guess the childish fanboys will continue to infest this blog like fleas on a dog.

That was a good one, Pixie fanboy. You sure did prove your point. All of us professionals who actually make the movies you obsess over are impressed by your acumen. Now go outside and get some fresh air.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time that DreamWorks made a billion dollar film?

Anonymous said...

When was the last time any animation studio did? Pixar has done it exactly once. In unadjusted dollars, no other studio ever has. If you correct for inflation and inflated 3D ticket prices, then Snow White is still top dog, and Shrek 2 made considerably more than Toy Story 3.

Meanwhile, I can assure you the people associated with Shrek 4, HTTYD, or Despicable Me are crying all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

At least the Toy Story saga still has huge reputation among the general public, something that Shrek has lost for quite a while.

Anonymous said...

Shrek has lost it for quite a while in the echo chamber that is the local animation and fanboy community. Go out into the actual world of moviegoes, the people who don't obsess over what brand of underwear John Lasseter is buying, and you'll find that the Shrek characters are beloved and widely enjoyed. The same can be said for a lot of animation and animated characters that the rabid fans are sick of (the Ice Age characters, Scooby Doo, Alvin and the Chipmonks, the Cars characters, etc., etc.).

Anonymous said...

You mean beloved and widely enjoyed by rabid DreamWankers.

Anonymous said...

You win the prize for champion Pixie troll of the day. Congratulations. It must be great to have finally found something you're good at.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the price, now you go back to your parents basement DreamWanky.

Anonymous said...

No basement, my Pixie friend. I'm not even a Dreamworker. I'm just a smug working pro, working right now on an actual animated film at another studio, and quietly chuckling to myself at how easy it is to stir up the simple minded. Enjoy your prize, and thanks for playing.

Anonymous said...

You dont even mention the studio or the name of the movie, so why shold I believe you?

Anonymous said...

And another thing, how do I know you are some fanboy pretending to be a Pro with an Anonymous account?

Anonymous said...

How do you know? You really can't, though if you were more insightful it'd be obvious. I recognize you, because I used to be a rabid fanboy myself (certain sports teams, a certain comic book company). I thought I knew it all then, and I didn't have the insight to listen to people who knew more than I did. As I matured, I came to appreciate more than my early, rigid tastes, and I came to realize how naive some of my assumptions were. I grew up, and stopped sounding like a boob (most of the time), and you will too.

This is a blog for professional animators, with a focus on the Animation Guild. There are no accounts here, unlike the other sites you probably frequent. Many of the readers and commenters are current or former union members, which means they're working pros. We can usually spot each other, despite being anonymous. We can also spot the fans who come here spouting partisan silliness.

As a fan, you see things as black and white. Everything related to Pixar is good, everything related to non-Pixar is bad. As pros, almost all of us have worked at multiple studios, we've seen that the Wizard of Oz is just some fool behind a curtain with really good PR, and we get testy trying to have meaningful discussions here when we're constantly interrupted by people who don't really understand what they're talking about.

Anonymous said...

First, i am no rabid Pixie, I am just a guy who loves animation (from any kind and any studio), second, I dont see anything non-pixar as bad. I like many of the non pixar stuff, like Despicable Me, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Ice Age (the first one only), and even some of the DreamWorks stuff like KFP and HTTYD. The problem that i have here is that many of the so called Profesional are always bashing everything that is related to Pixar and (especially) Disney Animation in this blog (Like the time that Tangled made almost 50 million dollars on its first weekend witch is a big number) did someone one of those so called profesionals besides the fans and Steve Hullet congratulated Disney for their first bona fide hit in years? NO, not even Mr.Norman did that. Its not their fault that DreamWorks or any other animation studio dont have the same track record of Pixar or even revigorize an old studio like Disney, and they will never accept that fact because of the so called profesionals jealousy. I repeat like. Pixar stuff as much as i like other animation studios stuff (as long as their movies are good) but the behavior of the so called profesionals (and of couse the rabid DreamWankers) against the Pixar and Disney employees and achievements makes me sick, and it gets sick aswell to the guys that you call Pixies witch makes them go to the laptop and write to attack in the blog. If the guys who frequently write here didnt act like Know It All and Haters, you and i wouldnt be having this conversation.

Anonymous said...

From the start of this comment thread you were shouting 'Dreamwankers,' praising all things Pixar, and revealing a woeful ignorance about the industry. And now YOUR feelings are hurt? I apologize for bruising you.

It seems that you're reading this blog with a filter. For example, I've seen plenty of praise, including from Floyd Norman, for Tangled. You also imagine the much of the disagreement here comes from 'professional jealousy.' You don't seem to realize that the professional animation community is small, that we all move around and work at different studios, and that we all have friends at other studios. It's professionals who are able to appreciate the good work of our peers at other studios, and it's the professionals who have a balanced and realistic view of the studios that you want to idealize or vilify. What you're interpreting as professional jealousy is actually annoyance at angry, naive super-fans who treat this like a sporting event, and engage in trash talk. Grow up a little and you're less likely to be condescended to.

Anonymous said...

You, young sir (probably very young) are a Pixie. The first step in getting better is to admit it out loud (and to move out of your parent's basement).
The professionals here do not need to defend themselves to you or the other non-pros. You are only here to watch the grownups discuss things. We don't find the need to always praise a studio that abuses its workers (by paying them non-living wages) as much as you'd like us to and we also don't have to praise a studio that lays off their employees at the drop of a hat (with mouse ears) whether it's at the end of a production or because someone disagreed with JL.
if that's the type of discourse you'd like to see then feel free to frequent the numerous fanboy sites that do that.

Anonymous said...

And you kid, are a DreamWanker. You better admit it and get out of your cave and get some fresh air.

Clearly you are not the same guy that i was talking to, so you better mind your own bussiness and feel free to frequent the numerous fanboy sites and fight with some one else.

Anonymous said...

Just so you know, I'm the anonymous pro from yesterday evening and from 9:38 today. The one above from 1:53 is from a different anonymous pro.

I had written you a fairly long response, but it didn't post, and I'm kind of worn out. Mostly I wanted to say that if you look at your posts here, from the start (I assume you're the same one shouting 'Dreamwanker' every chance you get), you'll hopefully see how annoying and pointless most of your comments are. Especially to working pros.

Also, what you imagine to be 'professional jealousy' is really annoyance at ignorance and misinformation. We work in a very small community. We hop around between studios, we all know each other, we're mostly friends with each other, and for the most part we respect each others' work. We also aren't naive enough to idealize a company name. It's silly super-fans who treat this like a blood sport, and it's tiresome. Just realize that as long as you write posts that sound childish, you'll be condescended to. Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but you're hanging out with grownups here.

Anonymous said...

Don't have to, Pixie....that comment about mommie's basement hurt, eh?

Anonymous said...

Well, I live alone and i dont even have a basement (dont need it either) so no, it didnt.

Dude seriously, stop with the trollhunting and let me talk to the other guy whose more mature than you.

Anonymous said...

Original anonymous pro here. Tried to leave a couple of comments, but they didn't go through. Not sure why.

I think if you'll look back, you'll see that things went awry here when you started throwing around the term 'Dreamwanker' right and left, and turned a thread about the possibility of DreamWorks being sold into another fannish Pixar-vs.-DreamWorks thing. Despite your claims to being broad minded, you seem pretty naive and judgmental, and you have bad internet manners to boot. That's generally going to lead to grumpy pros snapping at you.

Realize this is a small industry. We all know each other, and crews are constantly changing. We recognize and respect each others' good work and success, no matter which studio has their name in front of it. We know most people don't have a clue what really goes on in a studio, or how these films get made, and know-it-all fans get tiresome. A lot of the press and a lot of fans deify Pixar, and ignore or put down every other studio. It gets tiresome, no matter where you're working. People who have never worked with Katzenberg or Lasseter think they know what makes these guys tick, and the usually think they know what makes an animated movie work. Sometimes our eyes hurt because we spend so much time rolling them when we read silly comments. Is any of this making sense?

You're welcome to come in our house, but please take your muddy shoes off at the door, and try listening more than talking. You might learn something.

Anonymous said...

Thank you pro, i appreciate your very interesting point of view, but i want to clear some things up.

The guy who throw away the term "DreamWanker" was some other anonymous that was figthing whit other troll in a post of Steve Hullet about the Toy Story 3 Oscar campaign from last month, and ever since then that term is now used against DW fanboys (For example the other idiot who was posting here), the first thing that i wrote here was the whole Toy Story saga reputation and how Shrek has lost it and so on and on.

Anyway i am sorry we had this little fight and i hope we can now peacefully move on and thanks for the welcome to your house.

Anonymous said...

Do you also appreciate the fact that he also skewered you and called naive and judgmental amongst other names?

Go back to your fanboy sites and let the adults who don't say things "like he used the bad word first" as their defense.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you can keep going on with your never ending stupidity but you will not get the last word.

Anonymous said...

Wow, DUDE, that's how decide you've won a debate? By getting in the last post?
Sad...very sad.

Anonymous said...

You are still not gonna get it.

Anonymous said...

If you say so

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