‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’ Launches with $50 Million

DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon 2” opened in second place this weekend with an estimated $50 million. The film trailed the $60 million debut of another sequel, the R-rated “22 Jump Street,” directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who also directed “The LEGO Movie,” which opened to $69 million earlier this year.

The One Thing That Could Save DreamWorks Animation: China

At least one DreamWorks animated film has lost money for the past three years in a row: “Rise of the Guardians” in 2012 had an $87 million writedown; “Turbo” in 2013 resulted in a $13.5 million writedown; and this year’s “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” caused a $57 million writedown. This is rather obviously not a sustainable trend from a business standpoint, and investors are beginning to worry about the studio’s long-term prospects.

DreamWorks Animation 20th Anniversary Exhibit Debuts in Melbourne

“DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition” opened last month at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Clearly inspired by “Pixar: 20 Years of Animation,” which was shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York back in 2005, the DreamWorks show includes over 400 items, and covers the studio’s twenty-year history right up to the present—there are displays about “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which will be released next month. It is the largest exhibition in the twelve-year history of the ACMI.

First Look at $2.4 Billion Oriental DreamWorks Complex in Shanghai

Last week DreamWorks revealed the first renderings of the Dream Center, a 40-acre, $2.4 billion development in Shanghai, China. Scheduled to open in 2017 (or early-2018), the site will house the Oriental DreamWorks production studio, which is currently working on “Kung Fu Panda 3,” as well as the world’s largest IMAX screen, eight outdoor plazas, hotels, restaurants, theaters, galleries, and tourist attractions.

11 New ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2’ Images

DreamWorks has released a stockpile of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” film stills and publicity shots on the film’s official website. There’s new renders of Hiccup, Astrid, and Stoick, along with the dragons, including a new one, Cloudjumper. The quality of lighting and atmosphere has progressed notably since the first film in 2010. The Dean DeBlois-directed sequel will arrive into U.S. theaters on June 13.

DreamWorks Animation Launches Children’s Publishing Unit

DreamWorks Animation has announced the launch of DreamWorks Press, an in-house publishing operation that will produce digital and print books based on their popular properties like “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar,” and “Shrek,” as well as upcoming films like “B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations.”

Jeff Koons Loves “Croods”

Disney’s “Frozen” has gained momentum in the last two months as the lead cotender for the best animated feature Oscar, picking up nearly every possible recognition and endorsement, but DreamWorks’ sleeper hit “The Croods” boasts one endorsement that no one else can claim.

Why DreamWorks Animation Bought AwesomenessTV

If you’re still wondering why DreamWorks Animation spent $33 million last spring to buy the YouTube channel AwesomenessTV, an article about Netflix in the latest issue of the “New Yorker” offers an explanation that I found to be succinct and worth sharing.