DreamWorks Animation looks to be heading back into the swamp.
Chris Meledandri, head of Illumination Entertainment – which Universal owns – “is creatively going to try to help us figure out how to resurrect ‘Shrek’ and take a lot of the existing DreamWorks franchises and add value as we create new franchises,” Burke said.
Burke also said there are hopes to produce “as many as four animated movies a year.”
The first two “Shrek” films were well-received, both pulling in an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The most recent two, “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After,” however, didn’t get the same reception – with a rotten score of 40% and 58%, respectively.
All four “Shrek” films have earned a total $1.6 billion in domestic grosses, adjusted for inflation.
In addition to “Shrek,” DreamWorks Animation is also home to the “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises. Illumination Entertainment is responsible for the mega-popular Minions and the “Despicable Me” franchise.
Deadline also reports that Burke said the goal is to create characters that will lead to theme-park attractions and licensed merchandise to take “the low-single digit returns of the movie business and turn it into a different kind of business.”
Comcast purchased DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion in April. Clearly, Comcast is already thinking through how to get that big investment to pay off.
DreamWorks’ “The Croods 2” and “How to Train Your Dragon 3” are set to be released in December 2017 and June 2018, respectively. Its original film version of “Captain Underpants” is scheduled for a June 2017 release.