Tonight brings some breaking news in the world of intellectual property acquisitions as DreamWorks Animations is reportedly bidding big for the character rights currently owned by Classic Media. The group reportedly holds the keys to several well-known franchises including Casper the Friendly Ghost, Dick Tracy, Archie, He-Man, Gumby, Voltron, Felix the Cat, and The Lone Ranger making this a juicy target for any film studio.
After throwing down $150 million, DWA looks like the certain victor as no one else believes this arsenal is worth that amount; however, such an assumption might prove short sighted given recent history. Let’s look at some recent films that could be considered similar blasts from the past and see how they did.
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: Three movies at a cost of $210 million grossed $1.1 billion worldwide.
- Smurfs: One movie at a cost of $110 million grossed $564 million worldwide.
- Yogi Bear: One movie at $80 million grossed $202 million worldwide.
The bottom line is just one of these franchises proving successful could pay for the whole thing easily. In fact, I am a bit flabbergasted that nobody else would be interested in paying over $150+ million because a few of these properties are just home run plays here. While NYT who broke the story does say that some of the rights are tied up with other studios at the moment, there is still more than enough to at least warrant this deal.
That said, congratulations DWA for showing initiative. This is a great deal and hopefully for your sake nobody else realizes that you are about to walk away with a few of America’s pop culture treasures for a bargain basement price.