DreamWorks signs deal for Russia theme parks

DreamWorks Animation has signed an agreement for indoor

DreamWorks Animation has signed an agreement for indoor theme parks in Russia. The parks will be built around characters from DreamWorks films including "Madagascar," above, and "Shrek." (Credit: AP)

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DreamWorks Animation has 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 Friday in a statement. The parks are scheduled to open in 2015.

DreamWorks Animation, producer of the "Madagascar" films, is seeking growth opportunities outside the maturing film and DVD businesses. The company's Oriental DreamWorks venture announced plans in August to invest more than $3.1 billion to build an entertainment center in Shanghai to rival Manhattan'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.

DreamWorks Animation, based in Glendale, Calif., is scheduled to report fourth-quarter results on Feb. 26, closed up 45 cents at $17.34 Friday. The markets are closed Monday in observance of Presidents Day.

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