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DreamWorks Animation posted third-quarter results that beat the expectations of analysts in terms of profit and revenue thanks to Kung Fu Panda 2‘s $498 million box-office performance in foreign markets thus far.
The company said Tuesday it earned $19.7 million in the quarter, down from $39.8 million, on revenue that fell 15 percent to $160.8 million.
“This is a two-picture year versus three last year, so you have to put it in that context. We are very cyclical,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
During the quarter, Panda 2 brought in $39.4 million in revenue for DWA, though it has earned $664 million at the worldwide box office.
The next biggest contributor in the third quarter was Megamind with $25.8 million in quarterly revenue, followed by Shrek Forever After and How to Train Your Dragon at $15 million and and $9.2 million, respectively.
Shares of DWA fell 3 percent on Tuesday to $18.31 and were off another 2 percent after the closing bell once the earnings were announced.
The next big event for DWA is Friday’s release of Puss In Boots, which Katzenberg said he’d deem a winner if it set a Halloween opening-weekend record of about $33.6 million.
After Puss In Boots, DWA has Madagascar 3 and Rise of the Guardians in 2012, then a distribution deal with Paramount comes to a close.
While Paramount has indicated it wants higher than the 8 percent fee it now collects from DWA, Katzenberg said Tuesday that sticking with Paramount isn’t out of the question.
In the second quarter of 2012, Katzenberg told THR, “We’ll get really focused about this. And certainly by summer of next year we would want to have our next distribution agreement in place whether that’s to self distribute, stay with Paramount or be in business with somebody else. From our standpoint, nobody is out of the running.”
Katzenberg told analysts Tuesday that since 2006 DWA’s 11 releases have taken in $5.5 billion theatrically worldwide and $10 billion counting TV and home video, and it has paid Paramount $700 million in distribution fees.
DWA on Tuesday also hired former Disney executive Chuck Viane as its advisor on distribution options.
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