Shark, Shrek Drive DreamWorks Animation Profits

Citing the box office success of Shark Tale and the incredible home video sales of Shrek 2, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. yesterday reported a net income of $192 million for its fourth quarter. The strong frame helped the now publicly traded toon studio post year-end earnings of $333 million.

The financial results reflect the impact of a distribution agreement with DreamWorks Studios, which went into effect on Oct. 1, 2004. The numbers are good news for the animation arm, considering it posted a net loss of $36.6 million for the same period in 2003.

“Our first quarter as a public company was a great success by any measure,” comments DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. The studio topper notes that Shrek 2 contributed more than $360 million to the fourth quarter results and raked in more than $900 million worldwide in 2004. Shark Tale, released domestically in October of 2004, generated $62 million in revenue during the fourth quarter and took a healthy $316 million bite out of the worldwide box office during the year.

The next entry to come out of DreamWorks’ CG pipeline is Madagascar, which is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27. The fish-out-of-water tale stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and David Schwimmer as the voices of pampered New York City zoo animals who are faced with the realities of life in the wild when they inadvertently end up on an island off the coast of Africa. The film is directed by Eric Darnell (Antz) and first-timer Tom McGrath.