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Pixomondo, VFX Company for ‘Oblivion,’ Closes Berlin Office

Visual-effects company announces closure on Facebook

Pixomondo will close its Berlin offices on May 31, the visual-effects company behind "Oblivion" and "Hugo" said on Facebook.

CEO and founder Thilo Kuther did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but a message in German said the closure was part of a company-wide restructuring process. It said outstanding invoices would be honored.

Already this year, the Santa Monica-based company has shut down branches in Shanghai, London and Detroit. The move also comes as the visual-effects industry has been hit hard by shrinking profit margins and layoffs.

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Recent months have seen cutbacks at Tippett Studio and DreamWorks Animation as well as the bankruptcy and sale of this year's Oscar winner for Best Visual Effects, Rhythm & Hues. As foreign subsidies have lured business to far-flung parts of the globe, roughly a half-dozen visual-effects companies have been forced into Chapter 11, including such well-regarded shops as Digital Domain.

Earlier this month, when TheWrap broke the news that Pixomondo would be closing its Shanghai office, Kuther said that the company would be de-emphasizing its feature film business in favor of other types of design and conceptual work. He insisted that the company was not having financial difficulties.

"We’re not closing,"  Kuther said. "We’re not bankrupt."