REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF/AP) – DreamWorks Animation said Thursday it is reducing the number of films it produces each year from three to two and cutting 500 jobs as it tries to improve its profitability.
The company, known for animated movies such as “Shrek” and “Kung Fu Panda,” said it is narrowing its focus to one original film and one sequel each year. According to Variety, the studio will be closing their PDI DreamWorks studio in Redwood City with staff given the opportunity to move to it’s Glendale Headquarters.READ MORE: San Jose Arts Committee Votes to Remove Controversial Statue of Thomas Fallon
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said that the company’s film plans had grown too ambitious and led to inconsistent performance.
The company has struggled with a weaker-than-expected performance from some films, such as “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” which contributed to a loss in its most recent quarter.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. will take a $290 million pre-tax charge in connection with the restructuring. It expects the moves will save $30 million in 2015, growing to roughly $60 million by 2017.READ MORE: Multiple Earthquakes Rattle Sierra Nevada Near Truckee Thursday Night
The job cuts represent 18 percent of its workforce. They are expected to be complete by the end of the year.
DreamWorks also announced a number of management departures, including Vice Chairman Lewis Coleman, Chief Operating Officer Mark Zoradi and Dawn Taubin, who is primarily responsible for the company’s marketing activities.
Movies remaining on its slate include “Home,” which is set for release in March, followed by 2016 releases of “Kung Fu Panda 3,” and “Trolls.” In 2017, it plans to release “Boss Baby” and “The Croods 2,” followed in 2018 by “Larrikins,” and “How to Train Your Dragon 3.” The company said that “Captain Underpants” will be produced outside of its pipeline at a significantly lower cost.
Shares of the Glendale, California, company rose 3 percent to $22 in extended trading following the announcementMORE NEWS: Pandemic Weight Problems, Eating Disorders Affect Children
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