DreamWorks Animation Layoffs Delay 'Peabody & Sherman' and More
DreamWorks Animation is taking a hit for the weak performance of Rise of the Guardians at the box office. The film has grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, which sounds like a success, but the film cost $145 million to make, not including marketing costs, so it doesn't seemed to have turned a profit the way the studio was hoping. Therefore, THR has word that the studio is laying off some of the staff resulting in a change in their release schedule over the next couple years. Though they were originally slated to release three films this year, they have now shuffled a couple projects around and only two will see release in 2013.
Mr. Peabody and Sherman, once slated for release in November this year, has now been pushed back to March 14th, 2014. The more fluffy press release about the change says:
“Our distributor, who has had great success in March with their Ice Age franchise, has recommended we move Mr. Peabody & Sherman to the spring of 2014, which we totally agree is a much more advantageous release window. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is now the first of our three-picture lineup for next year.”
But Jeffrey Katzenberg says, "The move of Mr. Peabody & Sherman means that we will now release two films in 2013, and we are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly." In addition, the company has now put Me & My Shadow, featuring the voices of Bill Hader and Josh Gad, back into development after it was originally slated to arrive in March of 2014. It makes sense that this original film is being pushed back along with this shift instead of DreamWorks other promising projects like How to Train Your Dragon 2. That's a bummer since the story (read more here) sounded pretty great.
Honestly, this is bad news all around. First of all, Rise of the Guardians is well worth anybody's time as it's an entertaining, gorgeous and action-packed story. Hopefully the film finds a bigger audience on Blu-Ray and DVD, but the theatrical release should have gotten much more attention and DreamWorks Animation wouldn't be in this debacle. When all is said and done the film will have lost around $96 million for the studio, and that's just not good. The studio still has The Croods arriving on March 22nd and Turbo on July 19th, so at least there's still some hope for DreamWorks Animation to have a good year.