The studio will unveil the details soon, Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says this morning. But the production to follow the SpongeBob SquarePants movie due in 2014 will be “based on original IP [intellectual property] and will have consumer products possibilities.” It will put Paramount “very much on track to begin with one [animated] release per year.” And the CEO tried to reassure investors that he won’t break the bank. Viacom will spend less than $100M and budgets “in some cases [will be] significantly below.” Dauman began planning to build an animation operation at Paramount as he anticipated the possible loss of its distribution deal with DreamWorks Animation when their contract expired at the end of 2012. In August, Jeffrey Katzenberg’s studio agreed to let Fox distribute its films beginning this year.
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