Popular animated character Shaun the Sheep has been credited as a driving force for Aardman’s theme park and live performance profits.
The firm has revealed that while box office takings for the Shaun the Sheep Movie remain smaller scale (grossing $106m), the feature has served as a marketing tool as it expands its amusement park offering.
Aardman has made recent steps towards expanding in to the Middle East and Asia with the launch of new family entertainment centres.
Aardman Animations co-founders David Sproxton and Peter Lord revealed at this year’s Annecy Animation Film Festival that television rights and internet downloads bring in more income for the firm than movie ticket sales.
“One of the reasons we made the Shaun the Sheep Movie was to increase awareness and keep that franchise going and make it part of Aardman’s business approach,” said Lord.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Shaun the Sheep property is now being licensed for family entertainment complexes and is the company’s most successful character across Asia and the Middle East, outpacing Wallace and Gromit.
“Shaun as a character has been taken on worldwide and that drives income,” said Sproxton. “We have even created a 50-minute live singing show with Shuan,” one that has launched in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A live 15 minute show for Asia meanwhile has reportedly been a hit in China and Indonesia, and drew 30,000 people in five days in Japan.