UPDATE, 2:30 PM: Don’t look for DreamWorks Animation to produce additional movie genre parodies similar to its send up of mob films in Shark Tale, monster movies in Monsters vs. Aliens, and superhero films in Megamind. “All shared an approach and tone and idea of parody, and did not travel well internationally,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg told analysts in a conference call after earnings were announced. “We don’t have anything like that coming on our schedule now.” Also in the call, Katzenberg forcefully endorsed Netflix’s growing effort to buy the rights to stream movies and TV shows on the Web. “It has put another buyer in the marketplace, and an aggressive one,” Katzenberg says. “I know for sure it’s good news.” But he refused to take sides on the debate over Premium VOD, saying it’s “not relevant to us today.” He also wouldn’t discuss his company’s plans to negotiate a distribution deal to replace the one with Paramount that expires next year.
PREVIOUSLY, 1:42 PM: Everyone knew that the first part of this year would look disappointing for DreamWorks Animation’s earnings. It didn’t have anything to generate the toy and licensing sales it saw last year with How To Train Your Dragon. Still, DWA’s earnings fell short of analyst estimates for the first quarter. The company reported net earnings of $8.8 million, down 59.4% from the same period last year, on revenues of $108 million, down 33%. That translated into earnings per share of 10 cents, below the 12 cents that analysts expected.
The quarter “was driven primarily by our 2010 films, including Megamind, which had a solid performance following its February 25th release into the home entertainment market,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. Megamind DVDs accounted for about $18.1 million of DWA’s revenue in the quarter. But the company saw $19.1 million from Madagascar 2, which was sold to broadcast TV outlets in the U.S. and abroad.
DreamWorks Animation shares, down about 9% so far this year, closed Tuesday at $26.73 and remained unchanged in initial after-hours trading.