DreamWorks Animation Lays Off 70 Employees in Trims Across Departments

4% of the animation studio’s workforce was affected

DreamWorks Animation New Theatrical Opener (2022)
DreamWorks Animation New Theatrical Opener (2022)

DreamWorks Animation has laid off 70 employees, or approximately 4% of its workforce, amid production slowdowns caused by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes and rising production costs.

“DreamWorks Animation reduced its workforce by approximately 70 positions,” a DWA spokesperson said in a statement. “Roles affected were across corporate functions, feature, television and technology departments as part of an overall cost-reduction.”

DreamWorks Animation, which was acquired by NBCUniversal in 2016, found success this past winter with “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” which legged out for months at the box office and grossed $484 million worldwide. But the studio’s summer release, “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,” was a bomb, with just $44.9 million grossed against a $70 million budget.

The studio hopes to rebound in November with “Trolls Band Together,” a sequel to the 2016 film that grossed $346.8 million and made billions more from merchandise featuring the film’s colorful characters. In 2020, the sequel “Trolls World Tour” became the first theatrical film to pivot to home release during the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting a dispute between AMC Theaters and Universal that was resolved via an agreement that redefined the theatrical window for the film industry.

The DreamWorks layoffs were first reported by Deadline.

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