DreamWorks Animation To Cut 500 Jobs, Closes PDI Studio

In an effort to improve profitability, DreamWorks Animation SKG will reportedly cut over 500 jobs. Not only will the company trim down its release schedule, the powers that be are closing the doors to PDI Studio as well.

According to 89.3 KPCC, the layoffs represent 18 percent of DreamWorks Animation’s workforce. Although it’s unclear how many people have already parted ways with the studio, it’s believed that the company will finish cutting jobs by the tail end of 2015.

Slash Film reports that DreamWorks’ decision to shutter PDI Studio caught the industry by surprise. And while folks heard rumors that the company would cut jobs in order to stay profitable, the amount of people let go was a bit of a surprise.

Instead of cranking out three motion pictures every year, DreamWorks will instead focus on two. One of the films will serve as a sequel to an established property while the other is an entirely original project. What’s more, the shake-up at DreamWorks will also delay the release of How to Train Your Dragon 3. Fans won’t have an opportunity to see the third installment of the franchise until sometime in 2018.

Curious to see what pictures DreamWorks Animation has lined up for the next few years? Take a look at the list below. Although the studio was also working on B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, that movie was reportedly bumped from the schedule.

  • Home (March 27, 2015)
  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (March 18, 2016)
  • Trolls (November 4, 2016)
  • Boss Baby (January 13, 2017)
  • The Croods 2 (December 22, 2017)
  • Larrikins (February 16, 2018)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 3 (June 29, 2018)

Investors are a little concerned about the financial issues taking place at DreamWorks Animation. As a result of the job cuts and the closure of PDI Studio, the company’s shares dropped 7.7 percent to $19.67 ahead of the weekend. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield told the Los Angeles Times that DreamWorks is in a pretty bad way at the moment.

“DreamWorks is in a dire situation. While they have sufficient liquidity in the next couple of years, barring every single film being a financial disaster, they are skating on increasingly thin ice.”

For those who aren’t familiar with PDI Studio, Pacific Data Images, began working with computer-generated 3D images back in 1981. In 2000, the company was purchased by the folks at DreamWorks and ultimately merged with its animation division. As a result, PDI/DreamWorks was born. The studio produced such notable movies as Antz, Madagascar, and the beloved box-office hit Shrek.

Are you surprised DreamWorks Animation is cutting 500 jobs and closing PDI Studio?

[Lead image via DreamWorks Animation SKG]