LOS ANGELES, July 6 (UPI) -- Hollywood's Paramount Pictures said Wednesday it is starting up an in-house animation division, with its first title slated for release in 2014.
Paramount Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brad Grey said the initiative is part of the studio's long-term strategy for growth, and Paramount Animation wil focus on high quality animation with budgets of as much as $100 million per picture.
"We've come a long way over the last six years," Grey said in a statement. "Our team has worked hard to build best-in-class production, marketing and distribution divisions which have proven they consistently execute at the highest level across all genres and price points. Establishing an in-house animation division was the logical next step for us."
Paramount Animation's mandate will be the development of the broadest range of family CGI animated films, with a key piece being titles under the label of Viacom's Nickelodeon.
While Paramount has released numerous successful animated films in its history, the company's first fully owned CGI animated property was "Rango," which was released in March. Box Office Mojo reports the movie, starring Johnny Depp, has grossed more than $123 million domestically and more than $119 million overseas.