Paramount is getting into the animation game.
The studio announced on Wednesday that it is launching an in-house animation division and expected to release its first film through the unit in 2014.
In making the announcement, Paramount Chairman & CEO Brad Grey said that budgets on each of the division's films will be in the $100 million range. Grey said the company will draw on other members of the Viacom corporate family in developing its films, in particular the kids network Nickelodeon.
Grey said that the market “'has never offered as many opportunities" for animated movies "at very appealing budget levels." He said that the company will expand into toons "with appropriate and prudent overhead and production budgets.”
I think this is a great thing! The more studios and production companies get involved in animation the better off we all are going to be. Competition is a good thing for consumers and we now have one more player.The move comes as Paramount's renewal of its current distribution pact with DreamWorks Animation remains very much in doubt. That deal is set to expire in 2012, but Katzenberg has clashed with Paramount's leadership, according to individuals with knowledge of the situation. Paramount, which makes an 8 percent distribution fee on the films it handles, is unlikely to sweeten those terms and if the studio is serious about creating its own in-house product, that could severely weaken DreamWorks' hand.