Low-budget knockoff movies benefit from Hollywood blockbusters

Last year's "Puss in Boots"was made on the lush 13-acre DreamWorks Animation campus in Glendale by 300 people working for four years at a cost of $130 million.

Its knockoff was made on the second floor of an office building just two miles away— by 12 people, in six months, for less than $1 million.

The DreamWorks version, which starred the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek, was a box-office smash.

The other, produced by tiny Renegade Animation, went direct to DVD.

The animated knockoff is what's known in the film industry as a "drafting opportunity." Movies like Renegade's "draft" off of major studios' multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns for similarly titled films.

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-- Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times


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