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DreamWorks Adds to Slate, Announces TV Projects

DreamWorks Animation is set for three big 3-D releases in 2010, and in the meantime is working on TV series with Nickelodeon and expanding their SHREK, MADAGASCAR and KUNG FU PANDA franchises well into the future.

The studio's CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, made the announcements at an investor's conference on Thursday.

In addition to DreamWorks' first 3-D pic, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS (scheduled for March 27, 2009), the studio in 2010 will release two original films and one sequel: HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON on March 26, SHREK GOES FOURTH on May 21, and MASTER MIND on November 5.

The following year, 2011, will bring the return of Pandamonium. CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg officially announced a June 3 release for the KUNG FU PANDA sequel, in addition to an original film to be announced next year. And, based on MADAGASCAR's performance to date, Katzenberg expects to release a third installment of the MADAGASCAR franchise in the summer of 2012, along with another original movie.

"We're now teed up to release a sequel in three of the next four years, a core part of our franchise strategy," Katzenberg said. "We are leveraging our existing partnership with Nickelodeon to create a televised series, a number of televised series, based on our content."

Katzenberg said films like BEE MOVIE were designed to have one installment, while upcoming MONSTERS VS. ALIENS has a continuing component to it.

As for home video, DreamWorks was not unaffected by the global downturn, as overall DVD sales and rentals have declined last year by approximately 6 percent.

To counteract the slowdown, DreamWorks is taking a more active role in getting their franchise faces on TV, starting with SECRETS OF THE FURIOUS FIVE, which will have a primetime network airing on February 26 on NBC. SECRETS will also be released separately on DVD in time for Easter.

Ann Daly, Chief Operating Officer at DreamWorks, announced to investors that the studio has plans to produce four new network holiday specials, two for NBC in 2009, a MONSTERS VS. ALIENS Halloween special, and a MADAGASCAR Christmas special, and two more for 2010, which was based on the KUNG FU PANDA and SHREK franchises.

DreamWorks and Nickelodeon are working together on a series based on the penguins of MADAGASCAR, which has already gotten a greenlight for a second season for 26 episodes. In a sneak peek over Thanksgiving, THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR outperformed all cable networks and ranked number one in the key children's demos.

Additionally, Nickelodeon has greenlit a pilot for another new series based on KUNG FU PANDA.