DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. could lay off up to 20 percent of its Glendale workforce amid a filming halt, according to reports.
The company announced this week that it was delaying production of the movie “Me and My Shadow” and sending it back into development. It has also pushed back the release date of “Mr.Peabody & Sherman” to spring 2014 from fall 2013.
Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement the changes in release schedule would force reductions at the studio.
“We believe the best strategy for DreamWorks Animation in the long run is to ensure that every one of our films has an optimal release date with the biggest opportunity to succeed at the box office,” Katzenberg said. “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.”
Katzenberg did not detail specific cuts, but Bloomberg News cited an interview with Animators Guild union representative Steve Hulett, who reported that the studio is considering layoffs of 250 to 350 people at its Glendale campus and additional layoffs at its Redwood City location.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that management met with workers Wednesday to update them on the situation, and had asked many employees to sign new short-term contracts.
Shares of DreamWorks lost 44 cents, or 2.6 percent, to close at $16.31 on the Nasdaq.