×

CMC Takes Over Universal’s Stake in Oriental DreamWorks

Li Ruigang’s China Media Capital has taken full ownership of Oriental DreamWorks, the joint venture between CMC and DreamWorks Animation. The company is to be relaunched as Pearl Studio.

The company’s future has been in doubt for much of the past two year. That followed the underperformance of its only large scale animated feature to date, “Kung Fu Panda 3” and the sale of DreamWorks Animation to Universal and its parent Comcast.

In March last year, Variety exclusively reported that CMC had laid off 40 animators and was poised for restructuring. In September, the Financial Times reported that Universal had held talks about selling its 45% stake in Oriental DreamWorks to Warner Bros.

No financial terms were disclosed. In a statement, it was announced that NBCUniversal and its DreamWorks Animation, will continue to collaborate with Pearl Studio on its 2019 worldwide release of “Everest.” DreamWorks Animation’s film, television, consumer products and digital gaming businesses will now be part of NBCUniversal’s product offerings in China

Everest” tells the story of a girl who tries to bring a yeti from the Himalayas back to Shanghai is largely financed by Oriental DreamWorks. Jill Culton replaced Tim Johnson (“Home,” “Over The Hedge”) as director. Todd Wilderman continues to serve as co-director. The script was written by William Davies (“How to Train Your Dragon”). Pearl will handle the film’s release in China, Universal its outing in the rest of the world.

Pearl Studio will be led by CEO Frank Zhu and chief creative officer Peilin Chou.  The senior executive team also includes head of studio Dagan Potter, head of ancillary business PC Xu and head of operations Cindy Zhou.

“The animation market could not be stronger right now in China or globally. We believe Pearl Studio is in a very unique and enviable position to be a bold new independent voice in the animation community,” said Li, chairman and CEO of CMC.

More Biz

  • EFM 1st European Film Politics Seminar

    Berlin: 1st European Film Politics Seminar - Protecting Independent Film Production

    Leading industry reps gathered on the opening day of Berlin’s European Film Market for what is certain to be a continuing discussion about leveling the playing field for independent producers across Europe and demanding greater engagement in the sector from global players. The 1st European Film Politics Seminar aims to set the political agenda of [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein (C) arrives to New

    Harvey Weinstein Jury Note Stirs Frenzied Speculation on Verdict

    A note from the jury in the Harvey Weinstein trial on Friday afternoon set the media and legal worlds abuzz with speculation about the verdict. The note suggested that the jurors were deadlocked on the two most serious charges — predatory sexual assault — but had reached a unanimous consensus on three other counts, of [...]

  • Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior

    Naim McNair Named Def Jam Senior VP of A&R

    In what may be the first signal of the next era of Def Jam Recordings, Naim McNair has been named senior VP of A&R at the company. The move comes just hours after it was confirmed that Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of the label since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the [...]

  • Paul Rosenberg

    Paul Rosenberg Stepping Down as Head of Def Jam

    UPDATED: Paul Rosenberg, chairman and CEO of Def Jam Recordings since January of 2018, is leaving his post at the company, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. Jeff Harleston, general counsel for Def Jam parent company Universal Music Group, will serve as interim chief until a new CEO is appointed; he will [...]

  • Baby Yoda - The Child Animatronic

    Hasbro's Adorable Baby Yoda Animatronic Toy Is Already Sold Out on Disney's Online Store

    The Force remains strong for toys based on Baby Yoda, the breakout star of Disney Plus original series “The Mandalorian.” Less than a day after becoming available for pre-order, Hasbro’s new $59.99 Baby Yoda animatronic toy is no longer available on Disney’s official online store: As of Friday morning, Shop Disney listed it as “sold [...]

  • BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday

    BTS Leads Spotify’s New Music Friday Playlist Rebrand

    Spotify has launched a global rebrand of its popular New Music Friday playlist, which this week features BTS, The Weeknd, Noah Cyrus, Trippie Redd, Kenny Chesney, Rei Ami and others. The revamped playlist, which has 43 versions worldwide, has more than 3.5 million followers in the US and eight million globally. New elements include a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content