LOS ANGELES — Cable and entertainment conglomerate Comcast Corp. is in talks to buy DreamWorks Animation for more than $3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday.
Comcast already owns a major studio, Universal Pictures, through its NBCUniversal subsidiary. But if this deal goes through, Comcast would add a formidable force in animated cinema, one of the most consistently profitable genres around the world — especially in China, which could become the world’s largest movie market as soon as next year.
Led by global mega-blockbusters “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7,” Universal topped box office charts by studio market share last year. But lately, rival Walt Disney Co. has the upper hand. Its animated film “Zootopia” and live action/animation blend “The Jungle Book” have been two of this year’s biggest hits, and did particularly well internationally. DreamWorks’ most recent film, “Kung Fu Panda 3,” has made more than $500 million around the world — including $362 million outside the United States.
Entertainment industry legends Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen founded DreamWorks SKG in 1994. DreamWorks Animation was spun off in 2004 as a publicly traded company with a market cap of about $2.3 billion. Katzenberg currently serves as the company’s chief executive.