Just when Hollywood is celebrating the past year’s achievements in film by awarding Oscar nominations, another blow to the industry has occured.
DreamWorks Animation, which is a finalist in the Animated Feature category with its How to Train Your Dragon 2, is reportedly cutting anywhere from 150 to 500 jobs, with the upper range more likely. Many of those layoffs will happen as the studio closes its PDI facility in Northern California in Redwood City. The close will happen immediately, and many will be offered work at DreamWorks in Glendale. And, it is now releasing two films a year instead of three (a sequel and an original. This in an effort to release more profitable films.
The action should be complete by the end of 2015.
Indeed, DreamWorks has had major box-office highs with its Dragon and Shrek franchises, but has also experienced box-office lows with Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Rise of the Guardians, and Turbo. The studio soon will be releasing Home.
There has been recent restructuring at the top as well, with the chief creative officer, Bill Damaschke, being replaced by two producers, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, now co-presidents of feature animation.