Animation Magazine reports that DreamWorks is moving the release of Shrek 3 from November 2006 to May 2007. Yesterday DreamWorks Animation head Jeffrey Katzenberg said, “The sheer magnitude of the Shrek franchise has led us to conclude that a May release date, with a DVD release around the holiday season, will enable us to best maximize performance and increase profitability, thereby generating enhanced asset value and better returns for our shareholders.” This comes one day after Disney and Pixar’s announcement that Cars would be moving from November 2005 to June 2006 for the very same reasons. Taken together this would seem to start a yearly Pixar/DreamWorks showdown with their films released in May/June and DVDs at the same time for the holidays. This first showdown, beginning in 2007, will pit DreamWorks’ Shrek 3 vs Pixar’s Jan Pinkava directed film about rats, rumored to be titles Ratatouille or Rats. [paid subscription required for Animation Magazine].
And like Pixar, Forbes reports that DreamWorks Animation stock fell after the move, dropping 6 percent. Michael Savner, an analyst with Bank of America Securities, added that, “Both DreamWorks and Pixar expect to have early summer releases in 2006 and 2007, and while this is not a disastrous scenario, we think it is an incremental negative for both companies,” said. “They are likely to cannibalize each other’s repeat viewers to some degree”. Forbes also notes that DreamWorks announced that moving to November 2006 will be the film Flushed Away, a film about (believe it or not!) rats.