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Will DreamWorks Animation's new home actually work out?
Jeffrey Katzenberg's animation powerhouse has hit a bit of a speed bump recently. After better than expected results for "Madagascar 3" last May, "Rise of the Guardians" became the studios' first major miss in six years resulting in an $87 million write-down (ouch). This came on the heels of the publicly traded company changing distribution partners. DWA had been at Paramount Pictures since 2007. A number of issues including Paramount wanting to renegotiate its distribution fee led DWA to make a surprising jump to 20th Century Fox, a studio that has had a string of hits with its own Blue Sky animation studios ("Ice Age," "Rio"). Complicating matters, DWA decided to appease its stockholders by trimming its 2013 slate to just two films and executing a rare round of layoffs. There was little hope that the the first film under the Fox deal, "The Croods," could turn things around. And then something amazing happened. Even with mixed reviews "The Croods" opened to a larger than expected $43.6 million and has earned an impressive $330 million worldwide in just 17 days. It's unclear how high the global total will go, but that's already more than "Megamind" and the "Bee Movie" found respectively. And after the "Guardians" debacle, Katzenberg has earned a few weeks to take one long deep sign of relief. Next up? Turning "Turbo" into a major summer hit. Hey, everyone loves snails right? Right?