Over the past few days, there has been much speculation in the trades about which studio is going to form a partnership with DreamWorks Animation when it’s contract with Paramount runs out at the end of the is year. Sony Pictures is the next big studio looking to land a partnership with DreamWorks Animation, which has made over $6.3 billion in worldwide ticket sales in the past six years alone.
According to Variety, discussions have also taken place with rival studios Fox and Warner Bros. DreamWorks Animation has six movies in the pipeline through 2014, including high-profile projects such as The Croods, Turbo, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Me and My Shadow and How to Train Your Dragon 2. However, the trick for DreamWorks is to find a partner that doesn’t see it as a competitor with its own in-house animation division. That’s why Sony seemed like an unlikely choice. DWA is looking for a better distribution fee of around 7%— it currently pays Paramount 8% for theatrical and home video releases.
Paramount’s last release with DWA will be November’s Rise of the Guardians unless they extend their partnership.
In related DreamWorks news, The New York Times is reporting that the DWA is leading the bidding war to buy Classic Media, the owner of huge properties such as Casper The Friendly Ghost, Dick Tracy, Archie, He-Man, Gumby, Voltron and Felix The Cat among many others. Jeffrey Katzenberg’s studio is said to have offered more than $150 million, a total that reportedly is more than anything put down by other bidders and is scaring away potential buyers.