DreamWorks Employees Face Major Layoffs


Reports out of Hollywood say that DreamWorks Animation, which has been troubled by under-performing releases in recent years, is expected to lay off a good chunk of its staff at the studio’s Glendale and Redwood City campuses. The cull is part of cost-cutting measures, and is anticipated to match 2003′s mass lay offs which saw over 350 people dismissed.

According to The L.A. Times, among the 2,200 employees facing the layoffs are animators, storyboard artists, additional production personnel and support staff.

Even though How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a huge success for the studio, making over $600 million worldwide, DWA’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman and holiday release Penguins of Madagascar failed to meet expectation at the box office last year. Mr. Peabody caused the company to take a $57 million write down last April.

DreamWorks Employees Face Major Layoffs

DreamWorks Employees Face Major Layoffs

  • animcoop

    The commercial failures of Dreamworks are the fault of the leadership, not the workers.

    If the actual workers who create Dreamworks movies had any say at all in this decision, there would surely be other options. Dreamworks top 6 executives make a combined total of $33.7 million/yr, enough for $84,000 per layoff. Whether it meant going part-time or temporarily lowering executive salaries: there would be options.

    This news only strengthens the case for why we need democratic, worker-owned companies in Animation.


  • sick and tired of this crap

    This is really about keeping the workers in check. Pixar laid off some of it’s workers after they had to pay the Class Action suit against them in a show of strength. I know that Pixar missed a movie last year but they are not doing poorly by any stretch of the imagination, no reasoning behind the layoffs. This is the similar. Scare the shit out of your workers and they will work harder because they have no other option. We are all to gutless to to strike anyway and they know it.

  • Ed

    But did anyone see that they have openings in China :)

  • http://silverimageservice.com/ Jesse Silver

    This is an interesting development. DreamWorks has been expanding its television department and has been hiring to fill out positions in that area. It’s part of the goal to expand the range of company assets in order to make it more attractive to potential buyers.

    Overall DreamWorks has treated its employees well by the standards of the industry. There is no job security in entertainment. If you’re loking for that, try another field.

    • Elvez

      It’s not about the art or skill of the animators but about the profits. Dream works is just a machine , churning out pap for a quick dollar. They lost their artistic soul years ago. Keep an eye on China and you will soon see dreamworks moving their operations to a new cheap work force .

  • Charlie Bates

    Dreamworks is suffering lack of leadership, as any company out there where a one man show is basically a recipe for long term failure. One does not build a studio with one man (except Walt Disney). However, I read comments below about workers having a “say” in key decisions, and the truth is that if we all had a say in anything, we would never do a single thing. Hence you have leaders. However, what should be democratic is that workers and investors align in order to remove existing management and replace it with new blood. That happens some times (few) and lags for years in most cases, because he who has control will not cede his power.

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  • Michelle Torio

    Part of it is leadership. But I work in film as a producer and illegal downloads and other pirated stuff is killing the studios. What makes it worse is that people in the film industry are the main pirates distributing such downloads. Most film, TV, and Music Production studios are scrambling to find ways to distribute films or music without losing money from boot legged copies hitting the net just one day after release. At this point there really isn’t a solution, so many of these pirate torrent are overseas and outside of jurisdiction, and even when caught another torrent site pops up. It’s not something studios like telling the public, by announcing there product is out there on several free websites isn’t good for business. Dreamworks and Pixar are not the only companies having cuts. Disney laid off people, Sony Studios (before the hack), and countless others. That’s just the film business for you, we are now in a digital age.

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