Running an animation studio like DreamWorks Animation is tough, especially when your competition consists of Disney, Pixar (which is Disney-owned), Illumination, and Laika. Since Paramount cut its ties with DreamWorks in favor of distributing their own animation projects, Fox has picked up their film slate.
But the movies are performing below expectations at the box office, and now the studio that brought us successful multiple Oscar and Golden Globe winning and nominated franchises like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How To Train Your Dragon has been forced to cut 500 jobs across all divisions and locations, and will be closing its PDI offices in Redwood City, CA. The studio will also be reducing its releases from three to two a year. Hit the jump for more.
Animators that are currently employed are being offered the chance to relocate to the remaining offices in Glendale in light of the PDI closure.
Now the situation has also forced the studio to cut its release of its films from three to two. DreamWorks released Mr. Peabody And Sherman, How To Train Your Dragon 2, and Penguins of Madagascar last year, And while all three produced, the plan is to release one original film and one sequel each year moving forward.
Here’s what DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffery Katzenberg said in the press release:
“The number one priority for DreamWorks Animation’s core film business is to deliver consistent creative and financial success. I am confident that this strategic plan will deliver great films, better box office results, and growing profitability across our complementary businesses.”
Based on the new business model, here is DA’s new film slate. This includes How to Train Your Dragon 3‘s new release date,
Home (March 27, 2015)
Kung Fu Panda 3 (March 18, 2016)
Trolls (Nov. 4, 2016)
Boss Baby (Jan. 13, 2017)
The Croods 2 (Dec. 22, 2017)
Larrikins (Feb. 16, 2018)
How to Train Your Dragon 3 (June 29, 2018)
Captain Underpants will still be under the DA banner, however according to the press release, it will be produced outside of the studio’s pipeline at a significantly lower cost, is scheduled for release in 2017.