DreamWorks Lays Off Dozens of Employees As ‘Dragons 2′ Continues to Underperform

We heard rumors of layoffs at DreamWorks last week, but they weren’t confirmed by a reputable source until yesterday evening when the animator’s union, The Animation Guild, posted an item about it on their blog. The Guild reported that the layoffs took place early last week. An estimated 40-50 employees were let go. According to the DreamWorks sources that the union spoke with:

The studio didn’t have enough features that required staff building front-end production elements, so employees in departments that were overstaffed—and who didn’t have longer-term contracts or assignments—were given their walking papers.

The studio gave no prior warning to the employees that it laid off and demanded that they leave the studio that day. There are reports that employees weren’t even allowed to return to their cubicles to pack their belongings. “I get that the company needs to be cautious,” one person told the Animation Guild, “but I talked to one employee who said she wasn’t allowed back to her desk. She was kind of upset.”

DreamWorks’ stock has plummeted 35% since the beginning of 2014. How to Train Your Dragon 2 suffered another steep decline in its third U.S. weekend, dropping 46% at the box office. The first film in the series, by contrast, dropped just 14% in its third weekend.


  • Rufus

    And why can’t they get their stuff out of their cubes?

    See, this is messed up. People like Katzenberg still make million dollars a minute, while his company treats its own people like trash.
    Sure, you can spend two days justifying the whole thing, by the end of which you could explain why Katzenberg still rakes in tons of cash while people’s lives are literally being ruined as if it was all-good.

    Why all this? Failed business strategy from the start.
    Lower initial expenditures for some quick cash, and after ten years nobody remembers the film. All this while Finding Nemo still makes money today.

    • SethBlizzard

      Jeffrey Katzenberg clearly doesn’t know how to run the company. I think Dreamworks needs new management.

      • ReindeerFlotilla

        Doesn’t Katz own a controlling share of Dreamworks animation?

        Good luck with that. Roy Disney ain’t walken through that door.

        • KW

          Yes, Its not called Dreamworks SKG for nothing.
          Spielberg, Katzenberg, Geffen.

    • ReindeerFlotilla

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/jeffrey-katzenberg-dreamworks-animation-310998

      Katzenberg’s salary is tied to DWs performance. He’s probably down to single digit millions by now.

      • ThatGuy

        Oh that poor widdle billionaire baby.

        • Fried

          Mocking someone you’ve never met because they make more money than a profession you chose is definitely the classiest move in life.

          • Axolotl

            Yes, you might hurt the billionaire’s feelings.

          • ThatGuy

            Who’s mocking? I wish i had 1/100th of that guy’s money

          • Rufus

            This is a guy who doesn’t have a creative molecule in his body, running a company of people infinitely more talented than himself, treating them as readily disposable units. Are all those people going to land on their feet? I doubt it. Would they have been better off if given notice? Undoubtedly.

          • kenny

            Don’t say anyone “chose” a profession. There is most definitely prejudices in this country that limit certain people to high-income jobs.

    • maddie

      First of all, the second someone is let go they are a liability to the company. Every once in a while a mad ex-employee will try to take files, which are the property of the company.

      Secondly, Katzenberg and DreamWorks do not treat their employees like trash. DreamWorks is consistently rated as one of the top companies to work for and provides great benefits to their employees, for example, giving them two free meals a day.

      A couple years ago the company did not do as well as expected, and Katzenberg and the other execs gave up their salaries so employees could have their bonuses.

      Layoffs are a part of business and it is routine for animation studios to let employees go after projects, Pixar included. It’s not usually newsworthy.

      I am a past employee and I am married to a current employee that is content with his job. I hope this provides some clarity for you.

      • http://ignoranimus.tumblr.com Ignoranimus

        I agree that this article and some commenters here are being a little dramatic. It’s especially a shame that people are taking the actions of one person being an asshole to their ex-worker (not letting them go back to their desk), and treating it as an action made by the whole company. Dreamworks isn’t one evil entity that oversees all decisions, guys, it’s a studio made of many people.

        • moo

          [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted."]

        • Rufus

          Proof is in the free pudding. And in the dreamworks home video sales.
          What does two meals a day end up costing DWI per employee? 300 bucks a head on the very high end? Probably less. So you mean to tell me that a convenience such as a free meal redeems the company of all the nonsense it pulls?

          • Smash

            The free meal thing also comes from the fact that it’s in the middle of no where in terms of food options, and it allows people to be at the desk working during lunch. Most people at Dreamworks do not take an hr long lunch, bc they don’t have to get in a car and drive for food- it’s an efficiency thing for the company, not so much a make employees happy thing

      • MeMadMax

        They all get free meals and crafty…

        What are you smoking?

        • Maddie

          Could you expand on your point if you have one, MeMadMax?

      • Jason

        “I am a past employee and I am married to a current employee that is
        content with his job. I hope this provides some clarity for you.”
        You sound incredibly biased. Free meals is an argument now. Really?

        • hash

          Hmmmm, a comment bashing dreamwork’s treatment of their employees is responded to by someone who is actually an ex employee, yet their opinion is disregarded because it might be biased?

          Is it biased? Sure, but a better way to describe it might be informed.

          • Jason

            Just about as informed as witnessing an abusive relationship I guess.

          • Fried

            Witnessing? Don’t you mean actually being in one?

            And what the hell are with your comparisons? You seem all over the place desperate to defend criticism for the sake of criticism.

          • Fried

            People would rather believe make-believe negativity because it fuels their interests than positive truths if it goes against what they want to hear.

      • AmidAmidi

        For the record, the free ‘food’ that DreamWorks provides its employees has been, in my experience, barely-edible crap one step above a high school cafeteria. If you’ve ever experienced one of the free gourmet-quality meals at Google, you’d know how disrespectfully you’re being treated.

        • Fried

          I think I’d like to see a picture of this supposed meal before we going around spreading nasty rumors and hurting its rep. The food has a right to defend itself.

          The food is the most important aspect of Dreamworks after all.

          • Ant G

            yeah I loved that “2 free meals” was listed as one of the “great benefits” of working at Dreamworks…. under an article that shows job security is NOT one of these other “great benefits”. This is like a reversed “don’t bite the hand that feeds you” where employees are reduced to licking clean the hand that feeds and abuses.

            No seriously, listing “you get free mealz” as a pro for working at a company where the con is dismissal without warning is absolutely absurd.

          • d

            The film industry is mostly project based. Unless a studio has other large projects lined up when one ends, people get let go. That’s the nature of the buisness so getting all riled up over the supposed lack of job security is silly given the context.

        • burymylovely

          As someone who has eaten both in high school and the Dreamworks cafeteria, saying the two are the same is ludicrous. Just because its not gourmet, doesn’t mean its crap. Not only did it save us a metric ton of money for my husband to eat there twice a day, but he lost weight and his cholesterol went down. So clearly there are healthy options.

          More importantly, to tell people who actually work there that things there suck, when they say otherwise, it at best patronizing. Maddie is a professional adult with what I assume is enough work and life experience to know a crap situation when they see it.

          The layoffs are crap and the stories of how they’re being handled are worse. Its a huge change from the last time they let go of people and that’s what concerns me. One can discuss whether the studio is going downhill or not and whether the movies are good or not. But if people who work there say they are happy, can we all just treat them like the adults they are. Can we please assume they have the experience and knowledge to know good from bad and that they are not just biased.

          PS for all those people who say “dreamworks employees are biased”, I have never know a group of people more comfortable criticizing they’re own final products. Try talking to someone from another studio about their less than awesome work. Nothing but defensiveness.

        • Fred

          Speaking of studio meals, according to an article in the Summer 2014 issue of Disney Twenty*Three magazine, DisneyToon Studios (the studio behind the “Tinker Bell” and “Planes” movies) has a commissary with a gourmet menu provided by chef Lucio Bedon.

          As for this story, very unfortunate. I never really liked Dreamworks much to begin with. I still dislike the fact that Katzenberg back-stabbed John Lasseter with the whole “Antz” thing. Now, I know, I know, this is Hollywood, and Hollywood is full of back-stabbers, I get it, but still, a pretty classless thing for Katzenberg to do.

      • DangerMaus

        I hazard a guess that you worked and your husband works in management?

        • Maddie

          Actually, I’m an artist and this is his 5th year at DW as a lighting TD, but that doesn’t make a difference to you anyway. I am not defending every action taken by DreamWorks, but responding to a baseless mischaracterization. I’m done commenting further on this topic.

          • DangerMaus

            Since you say you are quitting this thread, you probably won’t see this but your confirmation of not being a former manager at DWA does make a difference to my perception of your original comment. I apologize if I upset you with my incorrect assumption.

      • Sathania

        Two free meals a day? I need to start working on my CGI skills…

  • Toonio

    How to tame your bottom line. Hope they find a new home soon.

  • NW

    that’s what happens when you order a 70 pound cake…well, maybe there was other stuff involved too…..

  • eddy

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted."]

  • http://tresportfolio.tumblr.com/ Tres Swygert

    This is very unfortunate for those who want to help tell a story to so many in the world. I do hope that those who were laid off at DreamWorks (and other animation studios) find new opportunities, and continue to share the passion they richly enjoy.

  • Capital_7

    These shows and movies all make money. They just don’t make money at the hideous pace the investors want to EARN money, so talented people lose their jobs and idiots in the high offices keep theirs. This is disgusting.

    • Ant G

      It baffles me. The artists who follow instructions and do exactly what is asked of them are the ones losing their jobs, as if blamed for a project’s failure, while the investors, producers and marketing who know nothing on animation get to keep their job and repeat the same mistakes they made before because they pretend to be the experts on what sells.

      • Fried

        The artists are laid off _because_ they’re not the higher ups making the decisions. You see the executives as people who know nothing while the executives see artists as talented cogs whom can easily be replaced because of the hundreds of art graduates that California alone can pump out a year.

        It’s much easier to let go an artist who can be replaced later down the line than risk replacing a higher up who has been around for awhile and is in charge of millions, especially since there are far less people available for the job.

        • Jason

          Oh trust me, I’m sure they could easily fill those positions if they left.

        • Ravlic

          So a talented artist is replacable, but some executive who probably doesn’t even care for animation is invaluable? Yeah, okay.

          • Fried

            Yep. Just like how a chef and a waiter is replaceable but it’s far more preferred to keep the same general manager for years otherwise having to deal with new management styles every 3 months causes the restaurant to become very unstable.

            Just like how I’m sure you would not want a new boss every couple of months and would feel more comfortable with a set one for a long time.

            Artists do better than farmers, who practically feed us. It’s not about whose job is more important but who has more control. You typically don’t want to give power to a new guy very frequently.

      • JeanbearTheImmasculator

        Open your eyes! This is the life we chose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see heaven.

  • kparrish33

    Been wanting to get in the industry for some time now, but it’s these kind of stories that always keep me cautious. Where’s this world going?

    • Strong Enough

      over dramatic much? lay offs happen all the time. the world is fine. the sun will come up tomorrow

      • ReindeerFlotilla

        You betcha. I hear there’s Dreamwork’s jobs in China.

  • Gerry

    Meanwhile I’ve noticed an awful lot of job postings for DreamWorks China popping up on CreativeHeads.net. I don’t have intimate knowledge of DW’s inner workings but it’s very tempting to jump to conclusions…

  • Strong Enough

    I think it time for Jeffery to get fired. i’m surprised the board of directors hasn’t voted him out. or is that the way it goes? let me shut up.

  • http://www.benjaminchirlin.com/ Benjamin Chirlin

    Such a shame too since the movie was so great.

    • https://vimeo.com/channels/wharton Brett Wharton

      Really sad returns on two great movies I saw recently: Dragons 2, and Edge of Tomorrow. Two original, creative projects that are exactly the kind of films we dream about seeing on screen, but due to their box office performances, are probably causing a number of great movie ideas to get shelved.

      • BurntToShreds

        Edge of Tomorrow was incredibly loosely based off of a Japanese novel called All You Need is Kill. I would have loved to see THAT on screen rather than the monstrosity they turned it into.

  • Ted

    Want a steady job in animation? Work on The Simpsons. Otherwise, you better save your money while you can.

    • GS

      Wouldn’t that require moving to Korea?

      • hash

        boards are done here

    • KW

      I got a full-time animation job doing commercials. There’s always work coming in with that job.

  • DangerMaus

    This kind of stuff is ignorant, but I also have to laugh that people still get outraged when it happens. Why? The ignorant treatment these people are getting has become a veritable standard in every industry. I guess it must all come down to the concept of loyalty.

    People keep getting invested in these companies. Like what they do matters. It doesn’t. Like as long as they do good work and are loyal then the company should reciprocate. Companies divested themselves of that myth years ago. Maybe employees should start doing the same. Maybe people should be treating their cubicles exactly as what they are: sterile work spaces. If people stop personalizing them then it becomes no big deal to not go back to them when a company pulls this kind of garbage. If there is nothing of you invested in the hole, meaning pictures, mementoes or whatever, then walking out becomes easy. If there is any of your work that you think would help your portfolio, in the event of a job search, then save it onto a jump drive daily and take it home. A person who invests nothing of themselves in a place will feel nothing when they leave. Anyways, that’s how I see it.

    • ThatGuy

      this is what we get for allowing Harvard types to run OUR business

      • Fried

        Because us artists typically don’t know business.

        Hell, most artists can’t even write, which should be in their line of skill.

    • T Lerms

      You’re asking passionate, creative people to stop investing themselves and to stop feeling.
      Sure.
      That sounds reasonable.

    • Cristin McKee

      A person who invests nothing of themselves in a place is at the bottom of the heap when recruiters are rehiring people that the employees enjoyed working with.

    • Honest_Miss

      But that suggests living a life completely devoid of any passion or dedication in an area that takes up a *huge* portion of your life. Maybe it protect you in the long-run, but it also saps you of any sort of drive or vitality. You’re literally going through the motions, as if depressed.

      This is not a good way to live your life.

      • Jason

        That’s kind of how they’re treating their employees though. We’re a Big Family(tm) talk until layoff time comes.

        • Fried

          It goes both ways, however.

          If the company said they did not have any money to pay you, you would not respond “It’s okay, I love this place like I would a family. You don’t need to charge me.” You would up and leave in a heartbeat.

          But just because money is involved doesn’t mean you are unable to form emotional connections and have to burn all your bridges if the money stops. You can still keep in contact with many of those artists and may end up working with them again.

    • jonhanson

      If you’re going to be dispassionate about your job then shouldn’t you also find a more lucrative and stable career?

  • Ant G

    Without naming, for the studio I worked for I, I never bothered to put anything on my desk except for my day to day belongings that I always brought back home each night. So when it came time for the inevitable lay offs (which they did warn me about), I never felt like I was leaving a home. Granted, now thinking about it, being the a replaceable employee with nothing on their desk probably 1) made me seem noncomformist (think of Aniston’s flairs in Office Space) and 2) made me an easy target to lay off since there would never be the awkward packing up.

    What I learned from the experience though is how, like in Office Space, they avoided confrontation as much as possible, by promising to call back when new projects come up but they never do, instead they seek the year’s fresh batch of new graduates to hire for dirt cheap again only to lay off once the project is done, and continue the cycle for the next year.

    • exDW

      Yup

    • canis majoris

      sad..

  • Pickled

    Never mind that DreamWorks is hiring tons of people over in television every week.

    • DangerMaus

      If there are so many openings over there then why wouldn’t DW management approach the people being laid off with the opportunity to transfer to their TV division?

      • Louis

        Television animation and feature animation are two very different cultures. It has been that way since television began airing cartoons.

      • Pickled

        None of these posts indicate what positions are being laid off. It’s entirely possible these positions aren’t available over at TV.

  • Bruce

    You don’t get to be a Fortune 500 Company by not letting your employees back to your desks. I find this article hard to believe.

    • Jason

      Um…actually you do? That’s the whole idea behind record profits at all costs.

  • pegasusgiraffe

    Bet they’re lamenting the fact they shelved “Shrek 5″…

  • SarahJesness

    That sucks, to say the least. I thought that HTTYD2 would be a hit for sure. (though I’m certain it will continue to make some money) Anyone have any theories as to why it’s not doing well as expected? I wonder what DW can do to pull themselves out of this mess.

    • GS

      Part of it is the sequel took too long to come out and so original fans may have “aged out” even though they allowed the characters themselves to age.

      • Lithia

        I agree. This is why I’m not sure if the next Avatar film will be as big of a hit as the original.

    • Fried

      Are you sure that’s true though? Toy Story had 2 sequels that both did great.

      Monsters Inc had a sequel 10 years later and it made a ton of money.

      Despicable Me 2 came out three years after the first film, only one year less than HTTYD, and that went on to make nearly a billion dollars.

      And I’m sure Finding Dory is going to be a hit.

  • Steve Hulett

    I actually posted about this on Facebook last week … when the calls from DWA employees were coming into the Guild. The studio gave us no notice this was coming.

  • MeMadMax

    That’s messed up that they can’t get their stuff…
    Anyways…
    All of hollywood is in decline and taking lost angeles with it. I heard it has something to do with taxes and fees or something ^.^
    Yes, I work in the show business…
    Yes, I’m leaving.
    No, I’m not coming back LOL!

  • d.harry

    Hey, let Jeffy give up his wages again to keep those folk around. He gets backend anyhow.

  • ThatGuy

    You didn’t see this coming alon with the post about their new studio in China? This is only the beginning. You MARK MY WORDS. In a year or two, there won’t BE an American studio. We all know this. Katzenberg is gonna send EVERY JOB overseas and NONE OF YOU will do a thing about it except complain online.

    I miss when animators were in control of the animation industry.

    • starss

      Now now. It’s past your bedtime.

  • ThatGuy

    Also, maybe Dreamworks should stop giving away MASSIVE SPOILERS (aka Hiccup’s mom ) in the fucking trailers? Why would you go to a movie when there’s no secrets left? Nothing surprising to discover? For a company that seems to keep things under wraps, they sure do like spoiling their own films.

  • T Lerms
  • Mark Mayerson

    These days, it should be trivial for a system administrator to remove an employee’s login and shut down their computer while they are in the office getting the bad news. That way, the employee should be free to return to his or her desk, take their personal belongings and say their goodbyes.

    The economics of this business are often hard, but there’s no reason to treat people poorly, especially when the layoff is not their fault.

  • Googamp32

    Just when I think I couldn’t hate NightmareWorks more than I already do. First, they killed hand-drawn animation, then they ruined VeggieTales, and now this! I’m glad that their movies keep bombing, animation and the world at large would be much better without them!

    • starss

      How do they ruin VeggieTales when they didn’t DO anything with it yet!?!

    • jonhanson

      Dreamworks didn’t kill 2D animation, the movie-going public did. .

  • http://www.friv7gaming.com friv 7

    Rumors and verify what we need to understand and acknowledge the measure. what is true and proven.

  • AegysLTS

    Wow thanks for sharing!

  • zoe

    How many times can Lucy snatch the football away from Charlie Brown before he stops falling for it? How many more fresh artists will clamber over each other for the privilege? We are all disposable. The question is not, “When will the studios stop treating artists like used Kleenex?” The question is, what are WE going to do to stop being dependent upon THEM?

    • Beck

      What? Start your own studio? Crash and burn or become successful and start the cycle of dependence again? There’s nothing we can do about it; this is literally the fundamental structure of capitalism. You have the capitalist profiting off the labor of the proletariat at any cost includingr layoffs. Every single industry works this way.

    • TheDisbeliever

      Yes! We should Unionize!!!

  • http://twitter.com/coldmilk coldmilk

    How about they lay off their marketing team instead?

    • Fried

      I actually prefer that as a much better response than “LAY OFF THE EXECUTIVES” which is just petty under-employee talk. Even if it was sarcastic, their marketing team has not been doing a good job representing their films and the times they do (How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Megamind both correctly expressed the atmosphere and tone of their films), they give away massive spoilers.

      They need people a bit craftier than that.

    • Stay Classy Dreamworks.

      That would be a great idea. How could you possibly fail at marketing “How to Train your Dragon 2″ ?? Paramount was *awful* at marketing DW content, and the switch to Fox doesn’t seem any different at all. Pathetic and desperate commercials.
      Dreamworks animators went straight to Katzenburg during the production of Sinbad, and complained about the marketing of the films, offering some alternative Poster Designs. (They were amazing, looked like Drew Struzan). Jeffrey shrugged his shoulders and said, “Its out of my hands…”
      Its out of your Hands???? WTF? Aren’t *you* the ‘K’ in ‘SKG’ ? How could marketing be out of your hands Jeffrey?
      Seems like nothing really changes at DW.
      Good luck on your continued failure.

  • Jason

    Yeah, moving forward nonstop until you fall off a cliff I guess. No time to reflect on broken industry practices amIrit?

    • Fried

      Falling off a cliff implies you lose everything. At most, you slip down a slope but can easily recover.

      Katz is the one who will fall down a cliff if the company goes under, not you.

      • Jason

        The difference is that he has millions while I have my craft. I understand what you’re saying but let’s not pretend that Katz won’t be just fine.

        • Fried

          Except people like Katz have their money on auto-spend and credit card mode all the time, which means at the moment he may be financially stable but the instant Dreamworks goes under, suddenly he won’t be able to keep up with investments, political affairs, and various other things and may actually _owe_ people money that he does not have.

          Not everything is as simple as getting a pay check and going home.

          • Jason

            Man glad you’re here to straighten me out on how bad Katz is with his personal fiances. Sorry but I think he’s smarter than that.

    • DangerMaus

      I’m sorry to say but reflecting on it will have you go over a cliff sooner than just getting past it and trying to recover yourself. However, I’m not telling anyone not to reflect on it if they want to. I just think it doesn’t do a person any good to obsess over a practice that they, singularly, have no power to change. At one time, the kinds of actions DWA took would have had people wildcatting, but those days are over in every industry. People, both union and non-union, are so afraid of losing their jobs in this induced state of perpetual economic uncertainty that nobody will or can standup to the abuses of management.

  • Fried

    The problem with this is that it’s all from an outsider’s point of view.

    You only saw the “magic” from outside the building, you don’t know what went on inside 10 years ago, and you still don’t. Ever since Dreamworks started with 2D features, they’ve been laying people off. Animation at the time just wasn’t as prominent in cinema yet so we didn’t exactly have big websites telling us so right after it was tweeted.

  • Fried

    He’s talking about the golden age of the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s, you know, when extremely talented artists who could draw and weren’t business majors like Walt Disney were in char–

    Oh….

    Or how about that time Bob Clampett opened a whole studio called Warner Brothers just to make cartoo–

    Wait that’s not right…

    I got one! Ub Iwerks, a very talented artist, left and started his own studio that went on to produce hundreds and hundreds of memorable cartoons and his studio is still going strong to today! Yep!

  • Strong Enough

    really? I think Pixar is as good as ever. Especially with Inside Out coming to theaters. that looks AMAZING. i mean best picture quality

    • Anonymous

      Really? The concept of “Inside Out” was a little weird to me. Being inside of a kid’s mind, or something?

  • Joe__Blow

    If true, that’s a new low, not letting people get their belongings. This carefully crafted illusion of the campus being a beautiful “home” is just that, an illusion.

  • Jason

    That sounds nice but often they’d rather have someone who isn’t a squeaky wheel.

  • X_Capt_Obvious_X

    Remember when the president visited a buddy and spoke at a certain animation studio and said how proud he was that Hollywood created jobs? Meanwhile, a bunch of people wearing green stood around outside with signs and nobody inside wanted to wear green? Where are those Hollywood created jobs for the people who just got laid off? Maybe wearing a green shirt that day wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.

  • Carlos Silva

    We are all expendable. Doesn’t matter what you do…

  • Chad Townsend

    #1 always backup your work daily

    # 2 never have more at your desk that you can’t carry with you.

    # 3 On your way out, smile and wave boys. I once made a group of head cutters cry on my way out, just by being positive.

    # 4 if you’re good at what you do and work hard, people recognize it. In the animation biz i’ve noticed good people all look out for each other.

    # 5 don’t fret. there is always work and a need to fill those roles. if you think its just kids fresh out of school getting jobs think again.

    • Stay Classy Dreamworks.

      You Cant “backup your work daily” at a large studio. Disabled USB ports on the computers. Firewalls that limit outgoing emails larger than 50k or so. Everything is locked down tight. You can’t get anything in or out.

  • Dumb_Tim_Armstrong
  • Ken Martinez

    So If one feature doesn’t make three billion dollars in one weekend, busloads of animators get the axe?

    How sustainable or stable IS this business?

  • MaskedManAICN

    Is this just a sign that the public is finally getting tried of cgi films?

    • DangerMaus

      If that was the case then why was FROZEN so successful? It was a CG film.

    • Sean_C

      If you’re expecting the public to suddenly demand the return of 2D animation, you’re in for disappointment.

      • MaskedManAICN

        Lucky I’m not :)
        Just seems like cgi films might not be the cash cow they used to be.

    • Lithia

      Okay, then explain Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and most (if not all) of the Pixar films.

      • MaskedManAICN

        I don’t have to explain it because I was merely posing a question, not stating a fact :)

        Layoffs seem to be at an all time high at these studios since movies are ‘under-performing’. The fact the Frozen made money doesn’t seem to be changing. But I could be wrong, which is why I posing the question- Are cgi films not the cash cow they used to be? Mind you, in Disney’s case, they have finally become(!) a cash cow.

        • Anonymous

          Sorry. I guess I misunderstood.

  • Metoş

    This is just the beginning. Dreamworks is gonna pay for leaving Paramount and falling for a money hungry company.
    They were MUCH better when their movies were distributed by Paramount. Now look what Fox has done!
    Be warned. There’ll be no Dreamworks in a few years.

  • Harrison

    I don’t get it. Why are all these problems happening if the movie went past it’s budget?

  • http://lgidc.weebly.com/ El Rocky Raccoon

    I can’t fucking understand why. HTTYD2 is one of the best movies I’ve seen, and put Frozen to eat dust. The story has much more depth than the first one. It is sad to see this.

    • Lithia

      Ugh. Must Frozen be brought into EVERY conversation? I am still waiting for these animated films to get some respect. Anyway, I don’t feel like How to Train Your Dragon 2 felt as “big” or “huge” as the original. I felt like the third act was pretty bad and the villain was uninteresting. I also wasn’t such a fan of Valka and the side characters didn’t feel that important to me (mostly the teenagers). I kind of like Stoick’s death, though. That was sad. But I did read that some fans of the original film were disappointed. Maybe for the same reasons?

  • Rufus

    It’s a failed business for the same reason Microsoft is a failed business. Take that how you will.

  • Fried

    Were you around for the 90′s when Don Bluth and Warner Brothers tried to release films and neither were able to compete with Disney? Even Disney was not able to compete with Disney after a certain point and had tons of flops, too.

    • dragonmasta100

      Don Bluth films were awesome!

      • DangerMaus

        Not really. Most Don Bluth films after Secret of NIMH had story problems. Don Bluth was/is a great animator but he was not the best when it came to picking good stories.

  • Dot Dot Dot

    There are more CGI movies than there used to be, too.

  • Charles Bellson Kiley

    The shock at this news is a little surprising, when the entire history of animation is one of loyalty that SOMETIMES was met with dismissal, hirings one year and firings the next, companies at their peak that transformed into ghost towns, and so forth.

    Walt Disney wasn’t immune to it. The strike, the war, the rise of TV and the losses of Sleeping Beauty all could have spelled the end. Hanna-Barbera would routinely hire and fire based on the network sales in a given year. FIlmation tried to keep domestic animators busy but couldn’t avoid outsourcing.

    The most dramatic story is in the book “When Magoo Flew” about UPA, a studio that was, at first, almost completely “run by the creatives.” But the supply and demand business model changed, artists came and went, and UPA changed into all the things it most found repellant when it was founded.

    Job security can exist, but it’s not a promise. The economy and the state of the country does not assure anyone anything. No company, large, small or individual, can be sure of staying in business and retaining its staff all the time, no matter what the business is.

    If you’re employed, you can’t live your life without making your living space livable. You can’t live expecting at any minute to have it taken away from you, even if it can. That’s not living. Make the most of what you have. If you lose it, you have every right to feel devastated, betrayed, angry — all the phases of grief.

    But know this — I have seen people fired a lot where I work. Some people, after a respectable period of “mourning,” build new lives. Some find things are better for the opportunity to get out and grow. Some don’t but also don’t let bitterness overtake them.

    But there are some who never let it go. I know these people and I weep for them. They live that firing over and over, missing out on all the ensuing years that might have brought them other pleasures and opportunities.

    Success, as well as failure, has to be kept in perspective. Both have pitfalls and both have untold positives.

    If you had a nice workspace and you miss it, that’s fine. You have those memories of a nice workspace. Now make a new one. It’s a big world out there.

  • MatthewSmurf

    Shrek was made in that one year between it’s release and Sinbad? WOW, that was fast work indeed.

  • http://cerulean-spork.tumblr.com/ cerulean_spork

    why shld they trust their decision if they keep greenlighting crap ???

    ans : the rich guys all scratch each others backs & sht rolls downhill

    on the heads of us little folks

  • Christine Rogers

    The total shit thing is that it’s an awesome movie and everyone should go see it twice.

  • Ballsdeep

    I used to work there. I quit after a year, everyone drnk the coolaid and I couldn’t survive on what they paid.

  • ask

    [Comment removed by editors. Per our commenting guidelines, "It is OK to post with a nickname or alias, but your email address (which we will NEVER share publicly), must be a real, permanent email address. Comments with fake or non-permanent emails will be deleted."]