Without Shrek, Dreamworks struggles to fuel earningsMovie studio Dreamworks Animation said this week that its fourth quarter earnings fell, citing lower ticket sales from its film offerings.

The animation company, a competitor of Disney's Pixar, said Tuesday its net income in the fourth quarter fell to $24.3 million. For the full-year, the company said its net income was $86.8 million. In the year prior, the company reported net income of $85.2 million in its fourth fiscal quarter, but the studio said it lacked the same big-name films that helped drive ticket sales in the past.

Last year, the film studio released the final installment of the massively popular "Shrek" series. Moreover, company executives said that a number of its other movies released the year before, including "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Megamind," helped bolster profits through high DVD sales and merchandise tie-ins.

Dreamworks fourth quarter revenue, on the other hand, did beat analysts' expectations. The studio said it logged $219 million in revenue in the quarter, a figure that was down 21 percent from the $276 million it reported in the same quarter a year prior. The Associated Press reports that analysts had previously estimated the company would report $206 million in quarterly revenue.

Film studios such as Dreamworks and Universal have had to overhaul their strategies over the past few years in an effort to drive profitability. While DVD sales once fueled movie studio earnings, they have decreased significantly as competition from Netflix and other online-streaming services has eroded demand. Film studios had to implement ambitious cost reduction measures as they sought to buttress earnings, but they have garnered mixed results through such initiatives.

Dreamworks chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, who co-founded the studio with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen, noted that the company's theatrical releases in 2011 were successful at the worldwide box office. By more closely monitoring spend management and indirect spend, the film studio could potentially increase earnings, some experts said.

"DreamWorks Animation's two feature films in 2011 achieved a high level of commercial and critical success, as Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss In Boots together reached $1.2 billion at the worldwide box office and each received an Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Feature Film," Katzenberg said in a statement. "After its initial weekend, Puss In Boots is off to an excellent start in its domestic home video release and we are now looking ahead to the next big event for the Company: the theatrical release of Madagascar 3."

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