DreamWorks Animation in Deal for Russian Indoor Theme Parks

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. signed an agreement to open indoor theme parks in Russia as the studio works to expand beyond its main feature-film business.

Regions Group of Cos., a Russian developer and manager of retail properties, will design, build and run the parks in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Yekaterinburg, DreamWorks Animation said today in a statement. They are scheduled to open in 2015.

DreamWorks Animation, producer of the “Madagascar” films, is seeking growth opportunities outside the mature film and DVD businesses. The company’s Oriental DreamWorks venture announced plans in August to invest more than 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) to build an entertainment center in Shanghai to rival New York’s Broadway.

The Russian theme parks will feature mixed-use theaters, a hotel and a shopping area with 11,000 parking spaces, the companies said in the statement. They will be built around DreamWorks Animation characters from films including “Shrek” and “Madagascar,” and rise as high as a 13-story building.

Glendale, California-based DreamWorks Animation, which is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 26, rose 2.7 percent to $17.39 at the close in New York. The stock had gained 4.9 percent this year compared with a 6.6 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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