DreamWorks Moves to Fox

DreamWorks Animation has announced that distribution of its films will move to Twentieth Century Fox when its current contract with Paramount expires at the end of this year.

The five-year distribution agreement will see Fox take over domestic and international distribution for all animated feature films produced by DWA from 2013 through 2017.

“DreamWorks Animation is a great company that makes terrific films, and everyone here feels privileged and honored to have been chosen to distribute their marvelous work throughout the world,” says Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman, chief executive officers and chairmen, Fox Filmed Entertainment. “We are particularly excited to add DreamWorks Animation’s films to the strong and growing slate of movies from our outstanding Blue Sky Studios division, which is coming off another global blockbuster with Ice Age: Continental Drift, and has Epic and Rio 2 in advanced production. Together we will be a dominant force in animated entertainment for years to come.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Fox will receive a distribution fee on worldwide theatrical and home video gross receipts as well as on international television, and on certain digital businesses. DWA will retain the rights to distribute its product in the domestic television.

“Fox has long been an industry leader in both theatrical and home video thanks in large part to its well-integrated approach to distribution across a wide range of platforms around the globe,” says Jeffrey Katzenberg, chief executive officer, DWA. “Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman have built a world-class distribution team, and we are excited to apply their expertise, robust infrastructure and global resources so that DreamWorks Animation’s films can reach their fullest possible potential over the next five years.”

According to Variety, DWA’s current fee with Paramount is 8 percent, a number that Paramount wanted to increase if their contract was renewed.

“Starting in 2013, DreamWorks Animation content will be distributed in the more traditional markets under a fee structure that is similar to our existing arrangement with our current distributor,” says Katzenberg. “However, our new agreement with Fox presents more favorable economics overall for DreamWorks Animation because we are taking advantage of lower costs associated with the emerging digital distribution landscape and managing domestic television distribution in-house.”

Rumors of a DWA move had been in the mill for a few weeks, with Sony named as a potential partner alongside Fox. In anticipation, Paramount has amped up its own animation studio. To read more about Paramount’s animation projects, click here.

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