Monday, July 16, 2012

DreamWorks To Team Up with Sony?

We all know that DreamWorks Animation's distribution deal with Paramount ends with the release of Rise of the Guardians in November, and we've all been wondering, who would DreamWorks turn to for distribution? Would they self-distribute? Or would they turn to someone like Warner Bros.? According to a newspaper article found by The Animation Guild, they might join forces with Sony.

For a while, I thought DreamWorks would team up with Warner Bros. since that studio always had a hard time with animated films, only scoring a few commercial successes (Space Jam, Pokemon: The First Movie, The Polar Express and Happy Feet) over the course of twenty years. The whole idea of DreamWorks going with Sony just doesn't seem right.

For starters, Sony has two animation studios: Their own (Sony Pictures Animation) and Aardman Animations. They haven't handled Aardman's films that well in the United States, as they aren't easy sells to begin with. Also, Sony Pictures Animation has a big upcoming slate with films like The Familiars, two more Smurfs films, Popeye and a slew of other original projects. DreamWorks has a ton of films in the works too, as they usually try to release two or three films in one year. That'll be quite a lot for Sony to distribute, that's for sure. I just can't see it happening though.

The studio that DreamWorks will ultimately go to will be revealed sometime before Labor Day, but if they're eying down Sony, then it's possible that Sony will be that studio. Certainly an interesting move coming from DreamWorks, and I can only imagine how the two studios will work together. If they don't go with Sony, then who else can they go with? Out of the big guns, only Warner Bros. is available. They obviously won't go to someone like Summit or Lionsgate (who have an awful track record with animation, need I say more?), so who knows. Self-distribution would be an interesting move, as DreamWorks' Animation's CEO and co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg was reportedly looking into it. Remember how Disney set up Buena Vista in 1953 to distribute their films after things fell through with the longtime distributor RKO Radio Pictures? Self-distribution is very possible.

Well, we'll find out soon. Who do you think they will team up with? Who would you like them to team up with and why? Do you think they should just distribute their own films? Sound off!

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