350 laid off from DreamWorks following Rise of the Guardians flop

Ben Arnold
Yahoo UK Movies News27 February 2013

DreamWorks Animation is having to lay off 350 employees following the failure of 'Rise of the Guardians'.

The film was a commercial disaster for the company, costing it $87 million, and has now caused the studio a major rethink.

[Related story: Biggest movie flops of 2012]

“I would say it’s the hardest thing I’ve had to do since we started DreamWorks,” said the studio's boss Jeffrey Katzenberg.

“We’ve never had to lay anybody off. It was against our culture. But it’s the right thing for us today, and it makes DWA strong going forward.”

A restructuring of the company is now taking place in the wake of the issues with the film, which featured Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Chris Pine and Jude Law.

Though it made more than its $145 million budget, pulling in £302 million, and received mixed to positive reviews, it failed to turn a profit thanks to high production and marketing costs.

The studio has also lost a substantial sum after taking the forthcoming project 'Me and My Shadow' from its production schedule and back into development.

Speaking about 'Guardians', Katzenberg said: “It’s been very hard. We had 17 hits in a row, and this is the first one that didn’t work for us.

“So it makes you go back and rethink everything, not just the fact that it didn’t work - certainly we spent a lot of time reflecting on that - but more importantly saying, ‘Let’s look at everything and say, 'What could we be doing better, smarter, more effectively to really position the company in the best possible way gong forward?' And that’s what we’ve done, and that’s what restructuring is all about.

“Would these things have happened without the failure of Guardians? I don’t know.”

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