D'Works bullish on next 'Madagascar'
EmptyWall Street analysts should push their estimates for "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" about 10% higher now that it won't have to compete with the latest "Harry Potter" film, DreamWorks Animation CFO Lew Coleman said.
"We think it's a big deal," he said Tuesday at the Merrill Lynch Media Fall Preview conference.
Warner Bros. said last month that "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" would move from Nov. 21 to July 17, 2009, a shift that left the second "Madagascar" movie, due Nov. 7, with a lot less competition.
Coleman also said that DWA doesn't intend to enter the straight-to-DVD market any time soon because, at $1 million a minute, it's too expensive.
He said the TV special "Shrek the Halls," even though it will repeat on ABC this Christmas season, also will be a DVD release. Asked if DWA predicts good sales, he said, "It's anybody's guess."
Before Coleman's presentation, Walt Disney Studios president Alan Bergman said his company will spend $100 million in the next two or three years to expand the Disney brand overseas.
He also noted that the studio has boosted profit margins from 3% to 16% lately through reining in production costs and focusing on Disney-branded movies.
Bergman also predicted that, while production costs will remain stable over the next few years, marketing costs could rise "a little bit." (partialdiff)