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DreamWorks Animation will spend less than $10 million next year developing live-action shows, president Ann Daly told analysts at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day, DreamWorks Animation announced it had appointed Katie O’Connell Marsh as its head of live-action global television to expand the studio behind Shrek into live-action television for children and families.
TV, said Daly, is one of the company’s most “sustainably profitable segments,” so live-action TV is a logical next step.
She said that DWA is sitting on intellectual property that lends itself better to live-action and animation, but she did not elaborate.
“Every one of the customers that we are selling and licensing our animated content to today have expressed interest if we were to get into the live-action space,” said Daly.
“There’s certainly an age where animation sort of taps out, and these broadcasters or platforms want to be able to hold on to those kids,” she added.
The executive also told the analysts that a 2013 deal to supply 300 hours of original programming to Netflix has been “very important” to DreamWorks Animation, as it allowed the company to scale its TV business quickly and led to new relationships. It’s one reason DWA content is in 80 countries today, she said.
Partnering with established players is the current SVOD strategy, rather than going it alone, and that won’t change soon, said Daly.
“We have the assets, we believe, and the capability of launching an SVOD, so the opportunity is there for us, but it’s not the path that we’re choosing right now,” she sad.
Daly also said a Kung Fu Panda 3 co-production with Oriental DreamWorks is a “first of its kind” that allows the company’s exhibitor split to go from 25 percent to close to 40 percent. The movie is set to open Jan. 29.
She also said DreamWorks Animation is “continuing to develop this idea of a theme park. We have several parties that have expressed interest, and we’re in exploration stage with them.”
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