Los Angeles Business Journal

DreamWorks Licenses ‘Shrek’ for Themed Attraction

By Deborah Crowe Monday, February 24, 2014

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. on Monday said that it has licensed characters from its hit film franchise “Shrek” to a British theme park operator that will create attractions based on the green orge and his companions.

The Glendale animated film studio and its new partner, Merlin Entertainments, said the first of six family entertainment attractions to be built over nine years will open in London in the summer of 2015.

Merlin Entertainments, which is based in the London suburb of Poole, owns the Legoland parks and Madame Tussauds wax museum brands. It is considered Europe’s largest operator of licensed themed attractions and the world’s second largest after Burbank’s Walt Disney Co.

The first 20,000-square-foot "Shrek's Far Far Away Adventure" attraction will be on London's South Bank, near the London Eye Ferris wheel, another Merlin attraction. Features will include a Shrek interactive walk through adventure, a character courtyard featuring characters in costume as Shrek, his friends, and characters from other DreamWorks franchises, such as “Madagascar”, “Kung Fu Panda” and “How to Train Your Dragon.”

"This attraction is going to be unlike anything that currently exists and will undoubtedly become a new type of destination for families," Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement.

This is the first time that DreamWorks Animation, which has been looking to expand its revenue streams beyond box office receipts and licensed product tie-ins, will help to produce a licensed tourist attraction of this size. The first ‘Shrek’ movie was released 15 years ago, and the franchise has generated more than $3.5 billion in global box office revenue.

DreamWorks shares closed up $1.64, or 5 percent, to $34.85 on the Nasdaq.