Bloomberg News’ BusinessWeek recently covered DreamWorks Animation’s successful bid to purchase Classic Media for $155 million, a move which gave ownership of to a wide array of intellectual property including Rocky & Bullwinkle, Casper the friendly ghost, VeggieTales, Richie Rich, Felix the Cat, Mr. Peabody and more. The studio is already drawing on this catalog to produce a new animated feature, “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”, for release in 2013.
BusinessWeek’s report puts the Classic Media acquisition in the context of falling sales and a drastic decline in DreamWorks Animation’s stock value since 2010, attributing these negative trends to a diminishing home video market as well as increased competition from other studios producing theatrical films with CG animation. Citing such things as the potential for TV channels devoted to DreamWorks animation, DreamWorks’ plans for a theme park in New Jersey and an entertainment district in Shanghai, the article illustrates CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s goal to diversify the business and “…see revenue from a lot of different areas” even as animated movies remain the “heart and soul” of the company.
The report also cites Katzenberg describing the Classic Media deal as a “game changer”, as well as firm denials against the idea that DreamWorks Animation could potentially go up for sale.