(Los Angeles, CA — July 6, 2011) – Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA and VIA.B), will launch an in-house animation division, with its first title slated for release in 2014. In making the announcement, Paramount Chairman & CEO Brad Grey said the initiative was part of the studio’s long-term strategy for growth and that the new division, Paramount Animation, will focus on high quality animation with budgets per picture of up to $100 million.
Paramount Animation’s mandate will be the development of the broadest range of family CGI animated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom’s Nickelodeon, the number one entertainment brand for kids worldwide. Paramount will also look to build on Viacom’s already thriving global consumer products business by seeking to capitalize on merchandising opportunities tied to all Paramount Animation releases.
The division will be part of the Paramount Motion Picture Group, reporting to the group’s president, Adam Goodman, and will initially target one release per year. Vice Chair Rob Moore, COO Frederick Huntsberry and Goodman are now conducting a search for the leader of the division.