Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hey Now, DreamWorks Animation Is A Rock Star, Gets The Show On With Comcast, Gets Paid (Over 3 Billion Dollars)

DreamWorks Animation has been looking for a buyer for a good couple of years now and it's not exactly a state secret why. The studio has had a rough few years financially and being under the ownership of a larger conglomerate would provide much-needed stability. Despite their recent money woes, the concept of DreamWorks getting bought isn't a crazy notion thanks to how many big franchises like Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda DreamWorks Animation owns. While their attempts to be bought by SoftBank and Hasbro went nowhere, today brought the news that Comcast has purchased DreamWorks Animation for 3.8 billion dollars.

With that purchases come everything owned under the DreamWorks Animation umbrella, including 32 feature films (and several other soon to be released movies in various states of development), 17 TV shows (plus multiple other programs in development) and the DreamWorks Classics library, which houses a number of well-known classic programs like Felix The Cat & He-Man. Jeffrey Katzenberg will be stepping down as the head of the company, though as of this writing a replacement has not been announced for him. The leader of Illumination Entertainment (the animation studio currently making big bucks for Comcast), Chris Meledandri, will be serving as a guide for DreamWorks in its new home.

It's far too early to tell what kind of impact this purchase will have on the films DreamWorks produces, though I'm sure from a marketing perspective (with the various TV channels like NBC owned by Comcast at their disposal) various figures at DreamWorks are already doing cartwheels over what's to come. DreamWorks has been on a cold streak with me with their recent movies (even the solid Kung Fu Panda 3 was a noticeable step down from its predecessors), so maybe this new transition to a new parent company will usher in a new age of creative nirvana for their productions. Then again, the guy guiding them in their new home is the producer of Minions, so maybe I'm just getting my hopes up for nothing.

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