Deal flushed: DreamWorks, Aardman wrap 5-year run

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DreamWorks Animation and Aardman Animations said last week that they are formally ending their working relationship (HR 1/31).

Sources close to Aardman, home of Oscar-winning animator Nick Park, said the British claymation stable is putting together an alternative arrangement at another studio.

After more than five years, the parting of the ways comes on the heels of disappointing boxoffice for Aardman's nonmodel CGI creation "Flushed Away." It has grossed about $62 million in the U.S. since its November release and ?10 million in the U.K. since its early December bow.

The five-picture deal between the companies resulted in "Chicken Run," Oscar winner "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" and "Flushed Away."

An Aardman spokesman noted that "the DreamWorks business model has changed" since the Bristol-based toon house sealed its deal with the studio.

The source said DreamWorks "is now dedicated to making two CG movies a year, and we (at Aardman) want to and will continue to make 3-D model movies."
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