Comcast plans to resurrect the “Shrek” franchise and push out as many as four animated films a year following its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation.
Speaking with Guggenheim Partners TMT Symposium investors this week, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says the goal is to create characters that will lead to theme park attractions and licensed merchandise. The aim is “to take the low-single digit returns of the movie business and turn it into a different kind of business.”
Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri will have creative control and “he 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.”
Comcast paid $3.8 billion for DWA, but Burke says the corporate synergies and ability to consolidate costs will allow it to pay off. The deal also puts NBCU into TV animation.