NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
DreamWorks SKG has filed for an initial public offering for its animation unit, maker of the hit movies "Shrek" and "Shrek 2."
The independent studio, started by Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, has seen its "Shrek 2" set a record for best U.S. box office for an animated film this summer. The company anticipates raising $650 million in the offering, which is to be managed by Goldman Sachs.
"Shrek 2," which is still in theaters, has done a record $424.5 million in U.S. box office since its first two months of release, along with $309.5 million in overseas ticket sales. The original did $478.5 million in worldwide box office. But while the company has had hits with its Shrek movies, it's had some box office bombs as well, including 2003's "Sinbad," which did only about $74 million worldwide after production and marketing costs estimated to be $90 million.
Its prospectus said that the animation unit reported only a narrow profit of $3.7 million in 2001, the year that the original "Shrek" came out, on revenue of $661.3 million, and it has reported losses of $31.1 million and $189.1 million in the two years since.
The company said that its Class A stock, which will be sold in this offering, will have one vote per share, while its Class B stock, which will be held by Katzenberg and Geffen, will have 15 votes per share. Katzenberg will remain CEO of the animation unit.
Class C shares, to be owned by outside DreamWorks investor Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, will have only one vote per share but will have the right to elect one of the directors of the public company.
The company has a new animated movie, "Shark Tale" due out this fall. It also has an animated television series, "Father of the Pride" set to debut on NBC. It has produced more product than competitor Pixar Animation Studios (PIXR: Research, Estimates), which also has made computer-generated, animated movies. But Pixar has had a much better track record, with each of its movies being a major hit, rather than a mix of hits and misses.
Pixar's 2003 movie "Finding Nemo" still has the record for best worldwide box office for an animated movie with ticket sales of $864.6 million, although "Shrek 2" is expected to capture that record later this summer.