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Film News Roundup: DreamWorks Animation Campus Sold for $290 Million

In today’s film news roundup, Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million, “Happy Death Day” tops $100 million in box office, and the comedy “Future ’38” gets sold.

PROPERTY DEAL

Griffin Capital has sold the DreamWorks Animation Studio Campus for $290 million to Korea-based Hana Asset Management and Los Angeles-based Ocean West Capital Partners.

The five-building, 460,000-square-foot property is located in Glendale, Calif., and was built in 1997 for DreamWorks SKG, headed by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. The campus remained headquarters for DreamWorks Animation when it became a separate company in 2004 and produced the “Shrek,” “Kung Fu Panda,” and “How to Train Your Dragon” franchises. It will continue as home to DreamWorks Animation under the new owners.

On August, 2016, NBCUniversal acquired DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, making it a division of the Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Griffin Capital acquired the building in 2015 for $215 million. The seller was represented by the Shannon Team of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Griffin Capital’s Michael Escalante said the Comcast deal had made it possible to realize a significant return on the investment.

“At the time we purchased DWA’s Headquarters, in addition to the attraction of the real estate itself, located nearby other world-renowned studio properties including Disney Studios, Warner Brothers Studios and Universal Studios, we were also attracted to the potential of an upgrade in the financial strength of DWA due to the probability of a strategic combination or sale of the tenant,” he said.

BOX OFFICE

“Happy Death Day,” Universal’s latest micro-budget collaboration with Blumhouse, has crossed the $100 million milestone at the global box office ($55.5 million domestic, $44.6 million international).

“Happy Death Day” is the third original film from Blumhouse in 2017 following “Split” and “Get Out.” The three micro-budget films have collectively grossed more than $630 million worldwide. “Happy Death Day” is Blumhouse’s 14th film to reach $100 million.

“Happy Death Day” is directed by Christopher B. Landon, written by Scott Lobdell, and stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Ruby Modine. Rothe plays a college student who is murdered on her birthday and begins reliving the day over and over again. There are six international markets still to open, including Argentina and Russia.

FUTURE DEAL

Freestyle Digital Media has acquired the North American rights to the science-fiction comedy “Future ’38” with plans for a VOD release on Jan. 2, Variety has learned exclusively.

Written and directed by Jamie Greenberg, the film centers on an American agent who travels through time to hamstring Adolf Hitler. It won the Audience Award: Beyond Feature at the 2017 Slamdance Film Festival.

“Future ’38” was produced by Joanna Bowzer and Daryl Goldberg and stars Betty Gilpin (“G.L.O.W.”) and Nick Westrate with appearances by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Sean Young, Robert John Burke, and Ethan Phillips.

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