With the news late last week that Paramount is currently prepping films such as a Spongebob Squarepants sequel, a Dora the Explorer film, and The Legend of Korra all to hit the big screen in the wake of their animation separation from Dreamworks, it’s been interesting to see just where the companies wind up following their deal expiration at the end of this year. CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has promised that DWA will find a new distributor for their future films soon enough, but so far the clock had still been ticking on what’s to come for the house of Shrek. Now, it seems the animation studio can let out a big sigh of relief today as they have reached an all-new deal with another big studio for the future of their franchises.
20th Century Fox has confirmed today that they have reached a five year distribution deal with Dreamworks Animation that will go into effect in 2013. This means that through 2017, Fox will take over for distribution and marketing for DWA films but Dreamworks will be retaining the right for products on domestic television ventures. With the television rights DWA can continue their relationship with Paramount’s sister network Nickelodeon, which is set to air a total of three television series regarding Dreamworks Animation properties by Early 2013.
What this means for Fox’s current animation go-to Blue Sky Studios is currently unknown, but it’s likely that both Blue Sky and Dreamworks will still very much be independent entities. In fact, both studios could very much work together on a future endeavor should the desire rise. As of right now, Blue Sky has two set projects in development: Epic, set for May 24th of next year, and the first sequel for the studio Rio 2 set for April 11th 2014.
Dreamworks, meanwhile, has multiple films currently in production but the final Paramount distributed feature will hit on November 21st with the adaptation and urban legend filledRise of the Guardians. Fox will then take over with next March’s caveman comedy The Croods with future releases includingTurbo, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Kung Fu Panda 3, the sequels for How To Train Your Dragon and more.