DreamWorks Animation Loses $83M in Q4, Posts Net Loss for Year

DreamWorks Animation took an $87 million write-down from "Rise of the Guardians"

DreamWorks Animation lost $82.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, resulting in a net loss for the year thanks in large part to the costly box office miss "Rise of the Guardians."

The company generated $264.7 million in revenue, but high costs led to a loss of $0.98 per share, per the company' earnings announcement on Tuesday. For the year, the company generated $749.8 million in revenue and lost $36.4 mllion, or $0.43 per share.

The poor performance of "Rise of the Guardians," a 3D fantasy adventure film directed by Peter Ramsey and released by Paramount, was the main reason for the company's poor financial performance, costing the company $87 million. Though the critically praised film grossed $302 million at the worldwide box office, that was not enough to offset the substantial cost of making and marketing it.

DreamWorks Animation took a charge of $165 million on the whole, including the sum for "Guardians," a $54 million charge for returning "Me & My Shadow" to development and other charges for development projects and restructuring.

"While 'Rise of the Guardians' did not achieve the level of box office success that we have come to expect from a DreamWorks Animation film, we have made several changes to our future slate that we believe will position us well for the next two years," Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, said in a statement. 

The poor performance of "Guardians" adds to the pressure on "The Croods," DWA's next release, and its first under its new distribution deal with Fox.

Katzenberg's production company has pumped out a series of hit films, including last year's "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," but there is little margin for error in releasing two to three expensive animated movies a year.

Two of its films will open in theaters next year, "The Croods" and "Turbo."