NBCUniversal wants more Shrek movies
As we learned in the Disney/Lucasfilm purchase, when a large conglomerate like Comcast/NBCUniversal buys a major company like DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, they expect to mine their corporate assets for all they’re worth. Now Deadline is reporting that it looks as if NBCU is doing just that with the animation giant’s biggest franchise: the Shrek movies. That’s right, they want a fifth Shrek movie, as well as a sixth and seventh and eighth and so on if all goes well.
NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke said that Illumination Entertainment’s Chris Meledandri will now have creative control and “he is creatively going to try to help us figure out how to resurrect Shrek and take a lot of the existing DreamWorks franchises and add value as we create new franchises.”
Merlin Entertainments and DreamWorks Animation have already opened a theme park attraction called Shrek’s Adventure London, and NBCU is looking to expand that mode of branding as well, with an eye towards taking the company’s annual revenue into the double-digit billions realm. Merchandising will also play an expanded role in DreamWorks’ future.
Back in 2014 Jeffrey Katzenberg stated, “We like to let them have a little bit of time to rest, but I think you can be confident that well have another chapter in the Shrek series. We’re not finished, and more importantly, neither is he.”
The most recent installment, Shrek Forever After, opened in May 2010 and though it only grossed $239 million domestically, less than the previous three movies, it grossed $752.6 million worldwide. It was followed 17 months later by the Puss in Boots spin-off, which also fared better overseas than in North America. Even though the franchise has shown signs of diminishing returns in the States, the nearly $3 billion it has grossed between 2001 and 2010 certainly shows that making another movie would be lucrative.