Turbo’ Will Turn a Profit and Digital Sales Are Up

When “Turbo" grossed a middling $31 million during its opening weekend in July, it was immediately branded a misfire and had some analysts projecting DreamWorks Animation would lose money on the movie.

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg expressed his disappointment with its performance on the company’s subsequent earnings call, blaming a crowded summer of animation.

Yet Katzenberg assured investors the film would still be profitable, thanks to the overseas box office.

Three months later, Katzenberg and his colleagues are sticking by that projection after a strong run overseas, and this time they are adding in new reasons for its success – DVDs, consumer products and TV.

“We believe ‘Turbo’ is a profitable film," CFO Lew Coleman said on the company’s earnings call Tuesday. “That assumes a successful performance in home video and consumer products."

When pressed by an analyst, Katzenberg said the movie should come out ahead because of lower costs of production, consumer products revenues, the company’s deal with Netflix for a “Turbo" TV show and the timing of its DVD release during the holiday gift-buying season.

When “Turbo" arrived in theaters, DreamWorks Animation already had a mobile game, toys and a TV show in stores or in the works. And if that was enough to turn a profit despite a disappointing domestic box office run, that could bode well for the company’s future releases.

The company has intentionally broadened it’s strategy to avoid being overly dependent on the box office fortunes of its films. DreamWorks Animation announced Tuesday that its financial reports will now fall into four categories – film, consumer products, TV and other.

While still in the early stages of making TV, that change indicates the growing importance of TV to DreamWorks Animation’s future. thewrap.com

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