DreamWorks Animation Plotting New Round Of Layoffs

By Dominic Patten, Jen Yamato

Layoffs are coming to DreamWorks Animation — again — on the heels of the studio’s leadership shakeup this month and recent write-downs, including one analyst’s projected $49 million loss on spinoff film Penguins Of Madagascar. Roughly 250-300 DWA employees will be getting pink-slipped in the coming months, sources say.

The “compartmentalized” layoff notices started about a week ago, another source added. The plan is to let DWA people go in small waves with 60-day payouts.

Earlier this month, Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke stepped down as veteran producers Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria were named Co-Presidents of Feature Animation of the struggling animation studio.

Despite hits from the How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar animated franchises, the Glendale-based studio has struggled to consistently create winners at the box office during the past three years. Turbo, Rise Of The Guardians and Mr. Peabody & Sherman underperformed, and the publicly traded company’s stock has been punished on Wall Street as a result.

Mass layoffs similarly hit DWA in 2013 after distributor Fox delayed Mr. Peabody & Sherman to spring 2014 and Me & My Shadow, an animation planned for 2014 featuring the voices of Kate Hudson, Josh Gad and Bill Hader, was taken off the schedule altogether and reverted into development.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2015/01/dreamworks-animation-layoffs-2015-1201353493/