DWA to release 'Shrek' musical on DVD

Reported a 48% drop in Q3 profit to $19.6 million

"Monsters vs. Aliens" doesn't warrant a sequel, but the soon-to-be-shuttered Broadway play "Shrek the Musical" deserves a DVD release.

DreamWorks Animation unveiled those plans Tuesday as it reported third-quarter financial results that beat Wall Street expectations and propelled the stock as much as 4% higher in after-hours trading.

CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said "Shrek the Musical" was filmed about 10 days ago and will be released on DVD in "unique packaging," though he wouldn't reveal much more.

"We have something very special," he told THR.

"Shrek the Musical" cost the company a nickel a share during the third quarter. It ends its Broadway run Jan. 3, earlier than expected, but then will tour domestically and internationally, and Katzenberg expects it eventually to turn a profit.

"The venture, as a whole, is something we're very proud of," he said.

Katzenberg, who at Disney was instrumental in turning "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King" into stage productions, said DWA intends on sticking with the DreamWorks Theatricals business. "We have some things we're working on," he said.

As for "Aliens," which made $380 million worldwide, with less than half that sum coming from foreign territories, the CEO said he toured 19 countries in 18 days in part to determine why international audiences weren't as receptive to the film as were U.S. audiences.

Although he came away with no "clean" answers, he said it became clear that, while the movie should become a franchise courtesy of TV and DVD, a theatrical sequel didn't make sense.

"We'd be pushing a boulder up a hill," he said.

DWA reported a 48% drop in third-quarter profit to $19.6 million on revenue that dipped 11% to $135.4 million.

With $35.4 million, "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" raked in more revenue than any other title during the quarter, driven by international home video and domestic pay television. The movie sold 11.3 million DVDs through quarter's end.

"Aliens" was next with $33.4 million in revenue. That film sold 4.6 million DVDs during the third quarter even though it was released one day before the quarter ended. DWA said it books sales when the product ships.

"Kung Fu Panda" took in $21.9 million in the quarter and reached 16 million DVDs by quarter's end. "Shrek the Third" was good for $8 million and "Bee Movie" for $3.4 million.

"Shrek the Musical" brought in $10 million; about $16 million was generated by library and other titles.

During the current quarter, DWA expects results to be driven by NBC specials "Merry Madagascar" and "Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space."

DWA had only one theatrical release in 2009 but has three planned for next year, prompting Katzenberg to predict the company's biggest year.

The 2010 slate consists of "How to Train Your Dragon" on March 26, followed by "Shrek Forever After" on May 21 and "Oobermind" on Nov. 5.

In 2011, DWA has "Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom" set for June 3 and "Puss in Boots" for Nov. 4. In 2012, it plans "The Croods" on March 30, "Madagascar 3" on May 25 and "The Guardians" on Nov. 2.
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