Just yesterday news broke that DreamWorks Animation planned to cut 500 jobs across all locations and divisions of the studio and also scale back its release slate from three films to two films a year, breaking down to one original project and one sequel for 2016, 2017 and 2018.
When Variety originally ran the report, there was no mention of how specific DWA projects would be affected by the restructuring effort, but now the post has been updated with specific release date information. Here’s what the studio has lined up:
Everything there is the same minus Boss Baby and How to Train Your Dragon 3. Boss Baby was originally scheduled for a March 18, 2016 debut and How to Train Your Dragon 3 was due in theaters on June 9, 2017. We knew there were issues with B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations after DreamWorks nixed the film’s June 5, 2015 release, but this Variety article confirms that the project is back in development for the time being. Mumbai Musical, which was set to hit theaters on December 19, 2015, is back in development as well.
Here’s what DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg had to say about the more hands-on role he plans to play in the company’s endeavors now:
“My time and my focus needs to be on making blockbuster films. We have the people to do it. That’s where my energy is going to be focused.”
He also added the following:
“Feature animation is the core of our company. Getting our feature film business back on track is our number one priority.”
According to Katzenberg, the problem is that the three films per year model was too ambitious so now the only way to get DWA back on track is by “going back to the basics” and “making two great blockbuster films a year.”
Beginning with Trolls, all DreamWorks Animation budgets will come down to $120 million, which still seems like a hefty sum but it is less than the reported $145 million the company spent on How to Train You Dragon 2.