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DreamWorks posts 1Q loss on 'Peabody' write-off

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 29, 2014 at 4:59 pm •  Published: April 29, 2014
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. posted a first-quarter loss Tuesday after booking a big charge on the box-office weakness of "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," a result that casts doubt on its acquisition of Classic Media and its cartoon characters two years ago.

The loss in the three months through March came to $42.9 million, or 51 cents per share, from a profit of $5.6 million, or 7 cents per share, a year ago. The charge from "Mr. Peabody" came to $57 million.

Revenue rose 9 percent, to $147.2 million from $134.6 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting a loss of 7 cents per share on revenue of $137.2 million.

"The box office shortfall of 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman' is evidence of the current challenges we face within our feature film segment," said CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement. "Restoring the strength in our core business is my number one priority today."

Katzenberg said he's confident the performance of "How To Train Your Dragon 2," which is to be released June 13, will restore the company to its historical box office success.

"Peabody," released March 7, grossed $261 million worldwide, but that's far short of hit status. DreamWorks' movies typically cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and advertise. "The Croods," for example, grossed $587 million worldwide last year and a sequel is planned.

"Peabody" is based on characters from the 1960s cartoon "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" that were in the Classic Media library along with "Casper the Friendly Ghost," ''Lassie," and "The Lone Ranger."

DreamWorks bought Classic Media for $155 million in July 2012.

Shares of Glendale, Calif.-based DreamWorks Animation fell 37 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $26 in after-hours trading Tuesday, after closing down 12 cents at $26.37 in the regular session.


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