In the wake of recent low-performing movies such as Rise of the Guardians, Turbo and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, DreamWorks Animation has announced a restructuring of the company. The studio will now only release two movies a year instead of three, cutting over 500 jobs. DreamWorks Animation also announced its new slate over the next three years, with the studio releasing one original movie and one sequel each year.
However, the studio did not mention projects such as B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, which was recently pulled from its 2015 release, and other previously-scheduled releases such as Mumbai Musical (March 10, 2017), Madagascar 4 (May 18, 2018) and Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives and 40 Thieves (November 2, 2018). It isn't known if these projects are being delayed indefinitely or not. Take a look at the full press release from DreamWorks Animation below.
Under the leadership of newly appointed Co-Presidents of Feature Animation Mireille Soria and Aamir Ghani, the studio's core feature animation production will now focus on six specific movies for the next three years - one original film and one sequel each year - including 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) and How to Train Your Dragon 3 (June 29, 2018). Captain Underpants, which will be produced outside of the studio's pipeline at a significantly lower cost, is scheduled for release in 2017. The company's 2015 release, Home, will premiere domestically on March 27. Here's what DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg had to say in a statement.
"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."
The overall reduction of DreamWorks Animation's feature production output will result in a loss of approximately 500 jobs across all locations and all divisions of the studio. DreamWorks expects to incur a pre-tax charge of approximately $290 million in connection with the restructuring and related items. These costs are expected to be incurred primarily in the quarter ended December 31, 2014, with the remainder in 2015 and 2016. The plan will result in total cash payments of approximately $110 million incurred primarily in 2015. The restructuring plan is expected to be substantially complete by the end of 2015 and expected to result in annualized pre-tax cost savings of approximately $30 million in 2015, growing to roughly $60 million by 2017..box