Top company by employee – 12 – DreamWorks Animation – California US
Industry: Media – Television/Film/Video
Ownership: Publicly quoted/held
Previous rank: 14
2011 revenue ($ millions): $706
What makes it so great?
At this movie studio, fresh-juice trucks visit the campus to distribute free smoothies, and employees are given stipends to personalize workstations. After wrapping Madagascar 3 last year, the crew held a Banana Splats party, where artists got to show the outtakes.
|Traded as||NASDAQ: DWA|
|Founded||October 12, 1994|
|Headquarters||Glendale, California, United States|
|Number of locations||Redwood City, California, United States|
|Key people||Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO
Mellody Hobson, Chairman
Lewis Coleman, President, CFO
Ann Daly, COO
|Products||Theatrical animated feature films
Television animated series
|Revenue||$750 million (2012)|
|Operating income||-65 million (2012)|
|Net income||-36 million (2012)|
|Total assets||$1.945 billion (2012)|
|Total equity||$1.346 billion (2012)|
|Owner(s)||DreamWorks SKG (1994–2004)
|Subsidiaries||Pacific Data Images
DreamWorks Animation Television
DreamWorks Animation Home Entertainment
Oriental DreamWorks (45%)
DreamWorks Animation Live Theatrical Productions
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. (DWA) is an American animation studio based in Glendale, California that creates animated feature films, television programs, and online virtual worlds. They have released a total of twenty-seven feature films, including the franchises of Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens and How to Train Your Dragon. As of June 2013, its feature films have made $11 billion worldwide, with its $430 million average gross surpassing all other studios besides Pixar($595 million). Three of DreamWorks Animation’s films—Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, and Shrek Forever After—are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, and fifteen of the films are among the 50 highest-grossing animated films, with Shrek 2 being the fourth all-time highest. Even though the studio also made traditionally-animated films earlier, all of their films now utilise computer-animation. The studio has so far received two Academy Awards along with numerous Annie & Emmy Awards; as well as multiple Golden Globe & BAFTA nominations.
The studio was formed by the merger of the feature animation division of DreamWorks and Pacific Data Images (PDI). Originally formed under the banner of DreamWorks in 1997 by some of Amblin Entertainment‘s former animation branch Amblimationalumni, it was spun off into a separate public company in 2004. DreamWorks Animation currently maintains two campuses: the original DreamWorks feature animation studio in Glendale, California and the PDI studio in Redwood City, California.
Films produced by DreamWorks Animation were formerly distributed worldwide by the live-action DreamWorks studio, then byParamount Pictures, a subsidiary of Viacom, who acquired the live-action DreamWorks studio in February 2006, spinning it off again in 2008. In 2013, 20th Century Fox, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, took over distribution of DreamWorks Animation films for a 5-year-deal.
On October 12, 1994, DreamWorks SKG was formed and founded by a trio of entertainment players, director and producerSteven Spielberg, music executive David Geffen, and former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.
The new studio has attracted many artists from Spielberg’s animation studio Amblimation. They first joined in 1995, when the last feature was completed, and the rest came in 1997, when the studio had shut down.
In 1995, DreamWorks signed a co-production deal with Pacific Data Images to form subsidiary PDI, LLC (PDI owned 60% of PDI, LLC, while DreamWorks SKG owned 40%). The new unit would produce computer-generated feature films beginning with Antz in 1998. In the same year DreamWorks SKG produced The Prince of Egypt, which used both CG technology and traditional animation techniques.
In 1997, DreamWorks partnered with Aardman Animations, a British stop-motion animation studio, to co-produce and distribute Chicken Run, a stop-motion film already in pre-production. Two years later they extended the deal for an additional four films. With Aardman doing stop-motion, they covered all three major styles, beside traditional and computer animation. This partnership had DreamWorks participating in the production of stop-motion films in Bristol, and also had Aardman participating in some of the CGI films made in the US.
In 2000, DreamWorks SKG created a new business division, DreamWorks Animation, that would regularly produce both types of animated feature films. The same year DW acquired majority interest (90%) in PDI, reforming it into PDI/DreamWorks, the Northern California branch of its new business division. Next year, Shrek was released and went on to win the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film. Due to the success of CGI animated films, DWA decided the same year to exit hand-drawn animation business after the next two of total four hand-drawn films. Beginning with Shrek 2, all released films, other than some co-produced with Aardman, are expected to be produced in CGI. Release of Shrek 2 and Shark Tale also made DWA the first studio to produce two CG animated features in a single year.
The animation division was spun-off on October 27, 2004 into publicly traded company named DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. and headed by Katzenberg. DWA also inherited interests in PDI/DreamWorks. They made an agreement with their former parent to distribute all of their films until they deliver 12 new films, or December 12, 2010, whatever comes last.
On January 31, 2006, DWA entered into a distribution agreement with Paramount Pictures, which acquired DWA’s former parent and distribution partner, DreamWorks SKG. The agreement granted Paramount the worldwide rights to distribute all animated films, including previously released until the delivery of 13 new animated feature films or December 31, 2012, whatever comes last.
Delivering three out five films, the partnership with Aardman ended after the release of Flushed Away in November 2006. The announcement was made before the film’s release, on October 3, citing “creative differences" as the reason. DWA retained the co-ownership of rights to all films co-produced with Aardman, with an exception for Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, for which they only kept rights for worldwide distribution.
On March 13, 2007, DreamWorks Animation announced it would release all of its films, beginning with Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), in stereoscopic 3D. Together with Intel they co-developed a new 3-D film-making technology InTru3D.
In 2008, DWA extended its production into India, where they established a special unit within Technicolor, named DreamWorks Dedicated Unit. DDU at first worked only on TV specials, such as Merry Madagascar, and Scared Shrekless, and DVD projects. With animating part of Puss in Boots (2011), they also started contributing to the feature films.
Since 2009, the studio has been a regular guest on the list of Fortune Magazine‘s 100 Best Companies to Work For. As the only entertainment company on the list, they ranked 47th in 2009, 6th in 2010, 10th in 2011, 14th in 2012, and 12th in 2013. The company is praised by its employees for its openness, culture of collaboration, and a free breakfast and lunch, a perk not found at many other companies.
With 2010, the studio had planned to release five feature films over the course of every two years, but the next year the studio revisited their plans, “But beyond 2012, Katzenberg said the studio will play it by ear, even if that means abandoning his proclamation that DWA would try to release three pictures in a single year, every other year." In 2010, DWA became the first studio that released three CG-animated films in a year. The company purchased the film rights to Trolls franchise in 2010.
In 2012, DreamWorks Animation formed a joint venture with Chinese investment companies to establish a Shanghai based entertainment company, named Oriental DreamWorks, to develop and produce original Chinese films and their derivatives. Its first film, Kung Fu Panda 3, co-produced with DWA, is scheduled for release in late 2015, and the studio’s first original animated film will follow in 2017. A live action film adaptation of Chinese book series, Tibet Code, is expected to be released in 2015. Part of the deal with the Chinese partners is also an entertainment and culture complex called Dream Center. Built in Shanghai with an investment exceeding $2.7 billion, it will feature series of theatres, cinemas, shopping areas, galleries, hotels, restaurants, and the world largest IMAX screen, and is expected to open in 2016.
In July 2012, DreamWorks Animation won a $155 million bid to acquire Classic Media, an owner of over 450 family entertainment titles and over 6,100 episodes of animated and live-action programming. Classic Media has since been renamed to DreamWorks Classics. Walt Disney Pictures produced a live-action feature film adaptation of The Lone Ranger with the film rights acquired from DreamWorks Classics.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, DreamWorks Animation was in talks with Sony Pictures to distribute its upcoming films, such as The Croods and Turbo. The report also mentioned a possibility where Sony would handle the United States distribution while 20th Century Fox would handle the international distribution. Renewal of the deal with Paramount was also open, but only with more favorable terms for Paramount. However, in August 2012, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year distribution deal with 20th Century Fox for both domestic and international markets. Rise of the Guardians is the last DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by Paramount Pictures, and The Croodsbecame the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox.
On April 11, 2013, DreamWorks Animation announced that it has acquired the intellectual property for the Trolls franchise from the Dam Family and Dam Things. DreamWorks Animation, which has “big plans for the franchise," has become the exclusive worldwide licensor of the merchandise rights, except for Scandinavia, where Dam Things remains the licensor. On May 1, Katzenberg and DWA announced their intent to purchase YouTube channel AwesomenessTV, expected to be finalized later in the month.
On June 17, 2013, DWA announced a multi-year content deal to provide 300 hours of exclusive original content to the video on demand Internet streaming media provider, Netflix.Part of the intent of the deal was in part to establish a more reliable income for DWA to defray the financial risk of solely relying on the theatrical film market. DWA on June 18 completed a five year licensing agreement with Super RTL that starts in September for the Classic Media library and the Netflix slate. With the Netflix and Super RTL deals in place for TV, DWA announced executive hiring for its new television group, DreamWorks Animation Television in late July.
On September 17, 2013, DreamWorks Animation has announced that it has acquired the TV library of London-based Chapman Entertainment. Which includes Fifi and the Flowertots, Roary the Racing Car, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion and Little Charley Bear. The Chapman programs will now be distributed through DreamWorks Animation’s UK-based TV distribution operation.
DreamWorks Animation has an on-going partnership with HP, and the studio exclusively uses HP workstations and servers. In 2005, DWA partnered with HP to introduce HP Halo Telepresence Solutions, technologies that allow people in different locations to communicate in a face-to-face environment in real time.
In 2005, AMD signed a 3-year deal to provide processors to the studio. This relationship ended in 2008, and DreamWorks announced that they will use Intel processors for future productions.
The DreamWorks Experience is a package of character interactions and experiences, including shows, meet and greets, and character dining, featuring Shrek, Po the Panda, Alex the Lion, The Penguins, and other DreamWorks Animation characters. The DreamWorks Experience was announced for Royal Caribbean cruise ships, including ships of theFreedom and Oasis class, in June 2010. In April 2011, the DreamWorks Experience was announced for resorts owned by Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, Orlando, Dallas, and Washington D.C.
|1||Antz||October 2, 1998||$105,000,000||$171,757,863||95%||72|
|2||The Prince of Egypt||December 18, 1998||$70,000,000||$218,613,188||79%||64|
|3||The Road to El Dorado||March 31, 2000||$95,000,000||$76,432,727||49%||51|
|4||Chicken Run||June 23, 2000||$45,000,000||$224,834,564||97%||88|
|5||Shrek||May 18, 2001||$60,000,000||$484,409,218||89%||84|
|6||Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron||May 24, 2002||$80,000,000||$122,563,539||69%||52|
|7||Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas||July 2, 2003||$60,000,000||$80,767,884||45%||48|
|8||Shrek 2||May 19, 2004||$150,000,000||$919,838,758||89%||75|
|9||Shark Tale||October 1, 2004||$75,000,000||$367,275,019||36%||48|
|10||Madagascar||May 27, 2005||$75,000,000||$532,680,671||55%||57|
|11||Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit||October 7, 2005||$30,000,000||$192,610,372||95%||87|
|12||Over the Hedge||May 19, 2006||$80,000,000||$336,002,996||75%||67|
|13||Flushed Away||November 3, 2006||$149,000,000||$178,120,010||72%||74|
|14||Shrek the Third||May 18, 2007||$160,000,000||$798,958,162||40%||58|
|15||Bee Movie||November 2, 2007||$150,000,000||$287,594,577||51%||54|
|16||Kung Fu Panda||June 6, 2008||$130,000,000||$631,744,560||87%||73|
|17||Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa||November 7, 2008||$150,000,000||$603,900,354||64%||61|
|18||Monsters vs. Aliens||March 27, 2009||$175,000,000||$381,509,870||72%||56|
|19||How to Train Your Dragon||March 26, 2010||$165,000,000||$494,878,759||98%||74|
|20||Shrek Forever After||May 21, 2010||$165,000,000||$752,600,867||57%||58|
|21||Megamind||November 5, 2010||$130,000,000||$321,885,765||73%||63|
|22||Kung Fu Panda 2||May 26, 2011||$150,000,000||$665,692,281||81%||67|
|23||Puss in Boots||October 28, 2011||$130,000,000||$554,709,226||84%||65|
|24||Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted||June 8, 2012||$145,000,000||$742,110,251||79%||60|
|25||Rise of the Guardians||November 21, 2012||$145,000,000||$303,712,758||74%||57|
|26||The Croods||March 22, 2013||$135,000,000||$585,181,807||69%||55|
|27||Turbo||July 17, 2013||$135,000,000||$173,198,929||65%||59|
|Mr. Peabody & Sherman||March 7, 2014|||
|How to Train Your Dragon 2||June 13, 2014|||
|Home||November 26, 2014|||
|The Penguins of Madagascar||March 27, 2015|||
|B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations||June 5, 2015|||
|Kung Fu Panda 3||December 23, 2015|||
|Mumbai Musical||March 18, 2016|||
|How to Train Your Dragon 3||June 17, 2016|||
|Trolls||November 4, 2016|||
Films in development
|Me and My Shadow|||
|Gil’s All Fright Diner|||
|The Grimm Legacy|||
|Puss in Boots 2|||
|The Croods 2|||
|Untitled film about a Blue-footed Booby|||
|1||Joseph: King of Dreams||November 7, 2000|
|1||Shrek the Halls||November 28, 2007|
|2||Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space||October 28, 2009|
|3||Merry Madagascar||November 17, 2009|
|4||Scared Shrekless||October 28, 2010|
|5||Kung Fu Panda Holiday||November 24, 2010|
|6||Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury||November 15, 2011|
|7||Madly Madagascar||January 29, 2013|
|1||Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party||November 2, 2001|
|2||Shrek 4-D||May 23, 2003|
|3||Cyclops Island||November 18, 2003|
|4||Far Far Away Idol||November 5, 2004|
|5||Club Oscar||February 8, 2005|
|6||The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper||October 7, 2005|
|7||First Flight||May 19, 2006|
|8||Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure||October 17, 2006|
|9||Secrets of the Furious Five||November 9, 2008|
|10||B.O.B.’s Big Break||September 29, 2009|
|11||Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon||October 15, 2010|
|12||Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular||December 7, 2010|
|13||Megamind: The Button of Doom||February 25, 2011|
|14||Thriller Night||September 13, 2011|
|15||The Pig Who Cried Werewolf||October 4, 2011|
|16||Night of the Living Carrots||October 13, 2011|
|17||Book of Dragons||November 15, 2011|
|18||Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters||December 13, 2011|
|19||Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos||February 24, 2012|
|20||Untitled Rocky and Bullwinkle short||March 7, 2014|
|#||Title||Premiere date||End date||Network|
|1||Toonsylvania||February 14, 1998||December 21, 1998||Fox Kids|
|2||Invasion America||June 8, 1998||July 7, 1998||The WB/Kids’ WB|
|3||Alienators: Evolution Continues||September 15, 2001||June 22, 2002||Fox Kids|
|4||Father of the Pride||August 31, 2004||May 27, 2005||NBC|
|5||The Penguins of Madagascar||March 28, 2009||present||Nickelodeon|
|6||Neighbors from Hell||June 7, 2010||July 26, 2010||TBS|
|7||Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness||November 7, 2011||present||Nickelodeon|
|8||DreamWorks Dragons||August 7, 2012||present||Cartoon Network|
|9||Monsters vs. Aliens||March 23, 2013||present||Nickelodeon|
|10||Turbo: F.A.S.T.||December 2013||Netflix|
|11||Untitled The Croods television series||TBA||TBA|