Dreamworks CEO believes ‘Turbo’ will be profitable

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A summertime glut of animated family films and a tough release date are the culprits behind the underwhelming domestic box-office showing of “Turbo,” according to Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg.

But in a conference call earlier this week with analysts to discuss Dreamworks’ second-quarter earnings, Katzenberg also said he believed that the film, which cost $135 million to make and heavily features IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500, would still be profitable for his company.

Variety reports that “Turbo” has already crossed the $40 million mark internationally with several major markets still awaiting release. That’s in comparison to the $60 million that the film has brought in Stateside since hitting theatres on July 17.

“It’s a hit everywhere in the world, except for one territory [the U.S.],” said Katzenberg.

According to Variety, Katzenberg said that “Turbo” has been considered a disappointment based on Dreamworks’ past films that have crossed the $150 million mark, saying that “in the real world, a movie that’s in the vicinity of $100 million is still considered a hit.”

Nonetheless, he conceded that the film’s so-so domestic take has been “tough, because ‘Turbo’ was loved and beloved” by audiences, which gave it a CinemaScore of A.

“This is a movie that played great for its audience but we were never able to get the attention and traction of [that] audience coming so quickly after two blockbuster sequel animated titles,” Katzenberg said, referring to Disney/Pixar’s ‘Monsters University’ and Universal/Illumination’s ‘Despicable Me 2.’

However, it bears noting that ‘Turbo’ seems to be the start of a move from Dreamworks’ to depend less on box-office cash and more on other lines of business from TV to merchandising.

We already know that an animated series based on the film is slated to stream on Netflix at the end of the year, and the Variety report above has the company’s chief operating officer, Ann Daly, mention that children’s toys tied to the film have “outperformed expectations.”

Combine those elements with the film having a potentially strong take overseas and maybe – just maybe – there might be a ‘Turbo 2’ after all.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.