The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Babe director George Miller is holding a fire sale of the assets of his digital animation studio Dr D via online auction house Gray’s. Five auctions are planned through June 13 for millions dollars worth of computers, studio equipment, servers and office furniture. Bottom of Form Gray’s listed the reasons for sale as “closure of one of Australia’s leading film and animation studios.”
Dr D opened its doors in 2007 as a partnership between two of Australia’s largest film production companies, Kennedy Miller Mitchell—makers of the Mad Max, Babe and Happy Feet films—and Omnilab Media (The Killer Elite). The studio helped animate Miller’s sequel Happy Feet Two.
In its annual report for the year to June 30, 2011, Dr D reported net profits for the year of almost $8.8 million and net assets of over $14.2 million. According to industry watchers, the disappointing performance of its parent company’s output, combined with the deterrent effect for Hollywood productions of the high Australian dollar were reasons for the studio’s tough fortunes.
Kennedy Miller Mitchell’s 2011 film Happy Feet Two grossed about $150 million worldwide on a reported budget of $130 million. Kennedy Miller Mitchell’s Mad Max film Fury Road is scheduled for release next year.