The fall-out from box office disappointment Rise of the Guardians is becoming very apparent today as DreamWorks Animation prepares to lay-off an unspecified number of staff, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Christmas movie has grossed nearly $300 million at the worldwide box-office but against a $145 million production budget, the project is considered a financial flop and the studio will be forced to write-down close to $96 million in Guardians losses.
Here’s the story from The Hollywood Reporter:
A DreamWorks Animation spokesperson declined to comment on whether layoffs will happen. But sources say plans for an unspecified reduction of the company’s 2,000 or so employees already are afoot and should begin before the publicly traded studio reports earnings Feb. 26.
Guardians, released in the U.S. in November, grossed nearly $300 million worldwide in theaters but was considered a box office disappointment due to its high production and marketing costs. Lazard Capital Markets analyst Barton Crockett predicted in January that the studio will be forced to write down as much as $96 million in Guardians losses. DWA stock consequently has been pummelled by investors.
Although the film was enjoyable, it offered nothing new to the animation genre and its humour was too inconsistent to appeal to a larger audience. The narrative’s Easter setting and nightmare-centric plot was far from ideal for a fun Christmas event movie and likely alienated families with young children.
This is a prime example of a missed opportunity for DreamWorks Animation, especially over a Christmas period that offered virtually no competition from similar films. Rise of the Guardians should have easily been able to capitalise on the demand for a family-friendly animated movie, but with its gross barely reaching $100 million at the US box office, it failed to accomplish this.
DreamWorks Animation’s next film is The Croods, which is due for release in the US and UK on 22nd March 2013.