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'Madagascar' Spinoff Going Direct to Video

20 Sep, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf



The scene-stealing penguins in Madagascar have been tapped for a direct-to-video feature film DreamWorks Animation plans on releasing in 2009.

The announcement came Wednesday during CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg's appearance at the annual Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference in Pasadena, Calif., where he told attendees the studio also will produce a theatrical sequel to Madagascar in which original voice stars Ben Stiller and Chris Rock will reprise their roles. The theatrical feature is slated to bow in 2008, Katzenberg said, vowing to make Madagascar “our second company franchise — along with Shrek.

The Madagascar penguins also will be featured in DreamWorks' first minimovie, a 10-minute film that will play in theaters this fall alongside the studio's main theatrical release, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, opening Oct. 7.

Retailers and consumers treat blockbuster releases as events and titles become catalog more quickly — after just a few weeks on shelves, Katzenberg said. DreamWorks' strategy is to treat titles hitting video as a buying event for the company's entire CG-animated catalog. DreamWorks' first DTV title will street in 2007, featuring a favorite character from the Shrek franchise, Puss in Boots.

“CG-animated titles have more than 15 times more units sold than the average for all films released onto home video over the last four years,” Katzenberg noted.

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