Dreamworks animation cuts jobs

Studio will cut 500 jobs, release two movies instead of three each year

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. recently announced it would cut 500 jobs, aim to release just two films a year, and lighten its management structure. Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said that he will refocus his energy on helping the feature-film division, which has struggled to find hits in recent years. Katzenberg had recently made a priority of expanding into television, consumer products and online video. Starting in 2016, the company will  release only two films a year, down from three. The studio’s feature division has “fallen short on the creative side,” and releasing three movies a year was “too ambitious,” he said. Citing a “top-heavy” executive structure, Katzenberg also announced that three of his deputies—Vice Chairman Lewis Coleman, Chief Operating Officer Mark Zoradi and Chief Marketing Officer Dawn Taubin —will leave this year. Under the new release strategy, DreamWorks Animation will release one original film and one sequel each year, starting with Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls in 2016. A 2017 release, Captain Underpants, will have some of its production outsourced from the studio to overseas vendors. The studio has only one movie this year—Home, out on March 27.

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