Brian Grazer and Ron Howard's Imagine Entertainment is getting into the booming, competitive animation business

From the LA Times by Ryan Faughnder

Hollywood producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are stepping into the animated film business in hopes of taking advantage of the booming — and increasingly competitive -- market for family movies.

Grazer and Howard’s production company Imagine Entertainment has teamed with Australian animation firm Animal Logic to develop, produce and finance six movies during the next five years, they said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Animal Logic, based in Sydney with offices in Vancouver and Los Angeles, is best known for doing the animation for hit films including Oscar-winner “Happy Feet” and “The Lego Movie,” both of which were released by Warner Bros.

The move comes amid animation’s continued dominance at the box office. Four of the top 10 movies last year were computer animated -- “Finding Dory,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” “Zootopia” and “Sing.” The grown-up mid-budget movies Imagine has built its brand around face growing difficulties at the box office.

Imagine, based in Beverly Hills, is best known for live action adult-oriented fare, including “The Da Vinci Code” trilogy and “Apollo 13.” The company has long wanted to dive into animation, but couldn’t afford to take the gamble, Grazer told The Times.

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