Los Angeles Business Journal

DreamWorks Moves to Loss

By Jonathan Polakoff Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Glendale animation studio DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported Tuesday that it swung to a fourth quarter loss due to large write-downs related to its latest release, “Rise of the Guardians.”

The studio took charges totaling $165 million against revenue of $265 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, plunging it into a net loss of $83 million. The write-downs came even as revenue increased 21 percent from the same quarter in 2011.

The charges included an $87 million write-down for “Guardians,” which grossed about $300 million at the international box office but was costly to produce. There were also charges of $54 million related to the studio’s decision to put its forthcoming feature “Me & My Shadow” back into development.

DreamWorks has been tweaking its release schedule, and earlier this month announced it would push the theatrical release of “Mr. Peabody & Sherman” to March 2014 rather than release the movie in November. As a result, the studio will release just two theatrical features.

Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg acknowledged that “Rise of the Guardians,” missed box-office expectations and said the studio will benefit from recent changes to its slate.

“While ‘Rise of the Guardians’ did not achieve the level of box office success that we have come to expect from a DreamWorks Animation film, we have made several changes to our future slate that we believe will position us well for the next two years,” Katzenberg said in a statement.