What has been previously rumored is now a reality with multiple reports coming in Thursday morning that Comcast’s NBCUniversal has purchased DreamWorks Animation in a reported $3.8 billion deal.
With the new deal, DreamWorks Animation will become a unit of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, which includes Universal Pictures, Fandango, and NBCUniversal Brand Development.
“DreamWorks Animation is a great addition to NBCUniversal,” said Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal in a press release. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and the DreamWorks organization have created a dynamic film brand and a deep library of intellectual property. DreamWorks will help us grow our film, television, theme parks and consumer products businesses for years to come. We have enjoyed extraordinary success over the last six years in animation with the emergence of Illumination Entertainment and its brilliant team at Illumination Mac Guff studio. The prospects for our future together are tremendous. We are fortunate to have Illumination founder Chris Meledandri to help guide the growth of the DreamWorks Animation business in the future.”
The mega deal is set to be completed by the end of the year and NBCUniversal will retain Katzenberg, who launched the DreamWorks film studio in 1994 along with David Geffen and filmmaker Steven Spielberg, as a consultant. DreamWorks’ animation arm was spun off in 2004 into DreamWorks Animation SKG.
“Having spent the past two decades working together with our team to build DreamWorks Animation into one of the world’s most beloved brands, I am proud to say that NBCUniversal is the perfect home for our company; a home that will embrace the legacy of our storytelling and grow our businesses to their fullest potential,” said Katzenberg. “This agreement not only delivers significant value for our shareholders, but also supports NBCUniversal’s growing family entertainment business. As for my role, I am incredibly excited to continue exploring the potential of AwesomenessTV, NOVA and other new media opportunities, and can’t wait to get started.”
The acquisition gives NBCUniversal even more market penetration for family entertainment both in TV and in film but also most intriguingly theme parks. How much more of a presence DreamWorks will have at Universal theme parks remains unknown but what would you like to see included? Give us your best ideas in the comments below!