Paramount Pictures is launching an in-house animation division, with the first film planned for release in 2014.
Paramount Chief Executive Brad Grey said Wednesday that Paramount Animation is part of the Los Angeles studio’s long-term strategy for growth. The division initially plans to release one film per year, focusing on “high-quality” CGI-animated family films with budgets of up to $100 million.
The Viacom Inc. studio, which recently released the latest installment in its “Transformers” live action-animation franchise, earned critical praise earlier this year for its first in-house CGI film, the Johnny Depp-voiced western comedy “Rango.”
“We’ve come a long way over the last six years … and establishing an in-house animation division was the logical next step for us,” Grey said in a statement. “The marketplace has never offered as many opportunities to create wonderfully imaginative pictures at very appealing budget levels, so we feel this is a perfect moment to launch this effort.”
Paramount Animation will be part of the Paramount Motion Picture Group. The group’s president will be Adam Goodman. A search is under way for a leader of the division. Productions will compete with Glendale-based DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. DreamWorks movies are now distributed by Paramount under a contract that expires at the end of next year.