Animated characters are a lucrative business. Don’t believe us? Just talk to Comcast, which is reportedly in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation SKG for a whopping $3 billion. The move seems to signal a renewed interest by Comcast in delving further into the film industry, following its success with such relatively low-budget but high-return films as “Despicable Me” and its spinoff “Minions.” And who better to partner with (or rather, acquire), than DreamWorks, the studio responsible for some of the greatest hits in the industry?
According to the Wall Street Journal, who broke the news of the possible buyout, the $3 billion offer for DreamWorks represents 30 percent more than the company’s market value. Should the animation studio agree to Comcast’s terms, it would be folded into an existing animation division known as Illumination Entertainment, anonymous sources claim. This could certainly raise job security fears amongst current DreamWorks employees.
News of the purported offer comes on the heels of Comcast’s positive first-quarter earnings results, and with its Class A shares up 13 percent over the last three months. DreamWorks certainly hasn’t done poorly either — its stock price went up 6.9 percent over the past three months.
There’s been no comment yet from DreamWorks Animation, which is responsible not only for classic animated movies like “Shrek” and “Madagascar,” but also holds the rights to older characters, including Casper the Friendly Ghost. Also to be taken into consideration is DreamWorks’ ongoing deal with Netflix, in which the studio is producing “hundreds of hours of television” for the streaming service.
According to the Journal, Hollywood heavyweight and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has long been on the lookout for a buyer. After all, reports note, should he successfully sell the company, he would receive the not-so-shabby sum of $21.9 million. So stay tuned, friends. The next installation of “Kung Fu Panda” may come from a new studio — one that is the love child of Comcast and DreamWorks Animation.