The announcement of Dreamwork's smaller slate led to a significant stock plunge.
Despite Dreamworks Animation’s big releases from 2014 – such as How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Penguins of Madagascar – the studio isn’t doing all that well financially. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the studio’s stock is plunging, after the announcement of layoffs and a smaller list of releases for 2015.
With the newly announced cuts, films like How to Train Your Dragon 3 hang in the balance.
The move comes after a string of costly box-office flops for the studio in recent years. This summer’s How to Train Your Dragon 2 earned $40 million less than the original at US box offices ($177 compared to $217) on a $145 million budget.
Films like Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls in 2016, as well as Boss Baby and The Croods 2 in 2017 and Larrikins and How to Train Your Dragon in 2018 are all under threat. In the meantime, 500 jobs have been cut in the scramble to save Dreamworks.
“The number one priority for DreamWorks Animation’s core film business is to deliver consistent creative and financial success,” DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the statement, released Thursday (quote via The Global Dispatch). “I am confident that this strategic plan will deliver great films, better box office results, and growing profitability across our complementary businesses.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Katzenberg’s announcement led to a significant drop in Dreamworks stock. As of 8:25 a.m. ET on Friday, the stock was down 12.3 percent at $18.68 in pre-market activity, below its previous 52-week low of $19.20. It had closed at $21.31 on Thursday, THR reported.