DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. outpaced analysts' earnings expectations in the first quarter helped by box office results of its spring release, “The Croods.”

The Glendale animation studio reported net income of $5.6 million (7 cents a share) for the quarter ending March 31, compared with $9.1 million (11 cents) in the same period a year earlier. Revenue dropped 1.1 percent to $134.6 million.

Analysts estimated DreamWorks Animation would lose 3 cents a share on revenue of $99 million.

Driving the quarter’s earnings was the March release of “The Croods” and strong home entertainment sales of last year’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” and “Rise of the Guardians.”

“The strength of our worldwide box office results from ‘The Croods’ and over-performance in home video from both of our 2012 titles demonstrate success in DreamWorks Animation’s core business so far this year,” said Chief Operating Officer Ann Daly in a prepared statement.

The company also announced that characters from its popular films will soon be playing at casinos in the resort city of Macau in southern China.

DreamWorks signed an agreement with Sands China Ltd., owner of the Cotai Strip Resorts, to use material from movies to produce shows, events and marketing campaigns. The agreement covers DreamWorks’ most popular films, including “Kung Fu Panda,” “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Shrek” and “Madagascar.”

The deal is intended to bring family friendly entertainment to the world’s largest gambling city.

“All of us at DreamWorks Animation are excited to bring the DreamWorks Experience to this amazing integrated resort city,” said DreamWorks Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement. “Cotai Strip Resorts has become a great destination for families and now it’s going to be even better.”

Shares gained 2 cents to close at $19.28 on the Nasdaq.