7 items from 2015
Layoffs are coming to DreamWorks Animation — again — on the heels of the studio’s leadership shakeup this month and recent write-downs, including one analyst’s projected $49 million loss on spinoff film Penguins Of Madagascar. Roughly 250-300 Dwa employees will be getting pink-slipped in the coming months, sources say.
The “compartmentalized” layoff notices started about a week ago, another source added. The plan is to let Dwa people go in small waves with 60-day payouts.
Earlier this month, Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke stepped down as veteran producers Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria were named Co-Presidents of Feature Animation of the struggling animation studio.
Despite hits from the How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar animated franchises, the Glendale-based studio has struggled to consistently create winners at the box office during the past three years. Turbo, Rise Of The Guardians and Mr. Peabody & Sherman underperformed, and the publicly traded company’s »
- Dominic Patten and Jen Yamato
“How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is providing DreamWorks Animation with a much-needed morale boost after a tough 2014 filled with disappointing films at the box office, a significant drop in its stock price and drama surrounding a potential sale.
With the company’s first-ever win in the animation category at the Golden Globes and now an Academy Award nomination, the “Dragon” sequel looks to be the frontrunner when the Oscars are handed out Feb. 22. Disney had won seven of the past eight years at the Globes.
Awards recognition is great, but with no sequels on the horizon for 2015, it could be another tough year at the box office for DreamWorks Animation.
The awards recognition comes shortly after Dwa chief Jeffrey Katzenberg named Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria as co-presidents of the studio. Both have extensive knowledge in launching and running successful franchises, with Arnold having overseen “How to Train Your Dragon, »
- Marc Graser
While accepting the Spotlight Award at the National Board of Review ceremony in New York, the 49-year-old comedian explained to the audience that Rudin, who made racially charged comments last month about President Obama in several leaked emails to Sony’s Amy Pascal, wasn’t really prejudiced as much as he was just nasty.
“He’s not here because he hates all of you!”
Tuesday’s remarks were the first time Rock has specifically mentioned the producer of his new movie following the “scary” cyber-attack on Sony.
“Read my emails,” he said to the New York Times. “I say offensive things for a living.”
Introduced by pal and fellow comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Rock began his »
- Ramin Setoodeh
DreamWorks Animation has announced that it has appointed two veteran producers, Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria, as co-presidents of feature animation. In their new roles, Arnold and Soria, respectively the lead producers behind the studio’s How to Train Your Dragon and Madagascar franchises, will oversee creative development and production for DreamWorks Animation’s theatrical releases. Between them, they have produced eight films at DreamWorks that have grossed more than $3.5 billion globally. As part of this transition, chief creative officer Bill Damaschke will step down from his position.
“Mireille and Bonnie are two of the most accomplished and prolific filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg. “I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment.”
“As two of our most successful producers, »
- Michelle McCue
Bill Damaschke will step down as chief creative officer, as part of the move.
At the moment, those are two of Dwa’s most reliable moneymakers, after being forced to take writedowns on the poor performance of its films. It took an $87 million loss on “Rise of the Guardians,” a $13.5 million hit on “Turbo” and $57 million writedown on “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”
“Three of our last four films have not delivered in terms of audience turnout or financial performance,” Katzenberg told analysts in April 2014, before “The Penguins of Madagascar” also underperformed in the latter part of the year, with nearly $271 million worldwide, $78 million coming from domestic theaters. »
- Marc Graser
Arnold and Soria, the lead producers behind the studio’s “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Madagascar” franchises respectively, will oversee creative development and production for Dwa’s theatrical releases.
“Mireille and Bonnie are two of the most accomplished and prolific filmmakers working in feature animation today,” said DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg. “I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment. »
- Todd Cunningham
“I am confident in their ability to marshall the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment.”
“Having worked alongside them both for many years at DreamWorks, I am thrilled that these established industry veterans will be providing creative oversight »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
7 items from 2015