23 Jan – Dreamworks Animation has planned to reduce their annual movie output from three per year down to two per year.
Though widely known for its "Madagascar" and "Shrek" series, the studio's more recent movies have been struggling at the box office, prompting it to now only focus its efforts on one original movie and one sequel per year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Dreamworks' three movies last year were "Mr. Peabody & Sherman", "How to Train Your Dragon 2" and "Penguins of Madagascar", a spin-off of the popular "Madagascar" franchise.
However, out of the three only the sequel to 2010's "How to Train Your Dragon" achieved box office success, managing to collect USD3.9 million in Malaysia and USD3.6 million in Singapore. Worldwide it made USD618.9 million, USD124.1 million more than its 2010 predecessor.
There had been plans for the studio to be bought by other companies, namely Softbank and Hasbro, but neither deal panned out.
Due to the financial predicament, one of its main studios PDI DreamWorks, in Redwood City, California will be shut down. The closing is expected to begin immediately, resulting in the layoff of 500 employees. Dreamworks last major layoff was in 2013, which saw the loss of 350 jobs.
The studio's new lineup now consists of "Kung Fu Panda 3", slated for release in North American cinemas on 18 March 2016, and "Trolls", to be released on 4 November 2016.
In 2017, "Boss Baby" will be released on 13 January and "The Croods 2" on 22 December. In 2018, "The Larrikins" will hit the cinemas on 16 February while "How to Train Your Dragon 3" will land on the big screen from 29 June.