DreamWorks Animation First Studio to Consider Moving Away from Marvel Release Dates

Penguins of Madagascar

After introducing plans and release dates for 10 new movies through 2019, Marvel Studios is starting to cause other companies with films coming out around those dates to reconsider their schedules.

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is the first studio head to express some concerns.

Titles from the toon studio that could especially be impacted are “B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations,” currently scheduled for June 5, 2015; and “Trolls,” on Nov. 4, 2016.

Other movies, like “Boss Baby,” set for March 18, 2016; “Captain Underpants,” on Jan. 13, 2017; and “Monkeys of Mumbai,” on March 10, 2017, fall outside of Marvel’s preferred summer and fall dates.

“We have a release schedule, and there’s going to be a lot of flexibility and maneuverability in that release schedule,” Katzenberg said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts to discuss DWA’s third quarter results, citing Marvel’s major slate reveal on Tuesday. “Some of those conflict with some of our opportunities.”

Marvel’s “Doctor Strange” represents the biggest problem as it’s planned to go out on Nov. 4, 2016 — the same date as “Trolls.” “B.O.O.” is wedged between “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Ant-Man,” out in May and July of 2015.

“We continue to look at our schedule here and the competitive marketplace, and we will remain flexible in the release of these movies and the dating of these films,” Katzenberg said. “You can look at our release schedule as the intent as of the moment. Every time something happens in the marketplace we’re going to respond to that in the most offensive way that we can to protect the performance of those films.”

Other studios will likely follow suit. But while Katzenberg stressed that “we have not made any full analyses yet or any decisions” about shifting the dates of its films, “we will stay diligent on that.”

Some of DreamWorks’ upcoming titles, which 20th Century Fox distributes for the company, already have changed dates.

Its next release, “Penguins of Madagascar,” moved up four months from its previous release date. It’s now set to go out Nov. 26, after previously having a March 27, 2015, berth.

“Trolls” was originally scheduled for June 2015 but shifted to Nov. 4, 2016, while “B.O.O.” moved up to June 5, 2015, from September.

Expectations for non-sequel films like “B.O.O.” “Trolls” and “Boss Baby” are “high,” Katzenberg said, especially when it comes to the consumer products potential with “Trolls.” He called it the biggest consumer products opportunity for the company “ever,” even comparing it to “The Lego Movie.”

“I’m not as nervous about the original titles” as some analysts, he said.

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