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DreamWorks plans to reduce staff

2015-01-24 09:57

Los Angeles - 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.

Check out the trailer of Kung Fu Panda:

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 $290m pre-tax charge in connection with the restructuring. It expects the moves will save $30m in 2015, growing to roughly $60m by 2017.

The job cuts represent 18% 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% to $22 in extended trading following the announcement.

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