Rather than rely on an outside studio to develop their animated fare, Paramount Pictures is launching their own in-house animation division. The studio had tremendous success earlier this year with Gore Verbinski’s Rango, the first fully-owned CGI animated movie for Paramount and one that grossed more than $240 million worldwide. Paramount had previously been relying on DreamWorks Animation, but that contract expires at the end of 2012. THR reports that Paramount has offered DWA head Jeffrey Katzenberg a one-year extension at the same terms. Beyond that, they would like to renegotiate the terms to be more favorable for Paramount and having an in-house animation studio could improve their bargaining position.
The budgets for the animated projects will hover in the $100 million per picture range and the studio hopes to develop a broad range of CGI animated family films. Paramount would like to have their first animated film out by 2014. The studio is already in development on an adaptation of the Penny Arcade comic New Kid.