DreamWorks Animation to slash 500 jobs, cut films


Los Angeles (AFP) – DreamWorks Animation announced plans Thursday to cut 500 jobs and reduce the number of films itproduces over the next three years as part of a “strategic” plan to cut costs and boost profits.

A statement from the studio responsible for blockbuster animated hits such as “Shrek” said the restructuring would see the company make two films per year instead of three up until 2017.

“The number one priority for DreamWorks Animation s core film business is to deliver consistent creative and financialsuccess,” DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the statement.

“I am confident that this strategic plan will deliver great films, better box office results, and growing profitability across our complementary businesses.”

The move comes after a string of costly box-office flops for the studio in recent years, which included a $57 million writedown for last year s “Mr Peabody & Sherman” and a disappointing hit on summer movie “Turbo”.

The 2012 holiday film “Rise of the Guardians” also floundered at the box office, hurting the studio s bottom line. The Los Angeles Times said the movie had seen Dreamworks take an $87 million writedown.

Dreamworks said the restructuring would see the studio incur a pre-tax charge of $290 million.

The studio said it would now focus on producing six films over the next three years — half of them original, half of them sequels.

“Kung Fu Panda 3” was being lined up for March 2016 followed by “Trolls” in November that year.

That would be followed by “Boss Baby” in January 2017 and “The Croods 2” in December.

“Larrikins” was scheduled for February 2018, before “How to Train Your Dragon 3” in June.

Dreamworks Animation is the largest independent animation studio in Hollywood. It was set up in 2000 following the creation of Dreamworks SKG by Steven Spielberg, Katzenberg and David Geffen.



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