Published On: Wed, Feb 25th, 2015

DreamWorks Animation in Big Trouble, Lost $247.7 Million in Q4

The company will sell its studios in Glendale California for $185 million to raise some badly needed cash.


DreamWorks Animation’s woes continue. The company posted a $247.7 million loss for Q4 2014 and will sell its studios in Glendale California for $185 million to raise some badly needed cash.

The losses were attributed to a number of pricey box office flops like “The Penguins Of Madagascar.” That movie contributed a paltry $6.9 million in 2014 revenues. DreamWorks Animation has written off more than $150 million on films that have not even been released yet – if ever – like “B.O.O.: Bureau Of Otherworldly Operations” and “Monkeys Of Mumbai.”

The studio has been having financial problems for some time now. It has laid off hundreds of employees and is the target of a wage fixing class action suit.

DWA’s full year 2014 revenues decreased 3.2% to $684.6 million, as increases in the New Media segment were more than offset by lower year-over-year performance in the Feature Film Segment.

The one bright spot for DreamWorks was the hit “How to Train Your Dragon 2” which contributed feature film revenue of $142.8 million in 2014, mostly from theatrical and home entertainment.

In a conference call with analysts the studios head, Jeffrey Katzenberg, tried to put a positive spin on things saying, “All in all, I think we’re making great strides.”

“Although 2014 was a challenging year for our company, I am confident that our recent announcement to restructure our feature film business will enable us to deliver great films and better box office results, while improving the overall financial performance of our business. And while 2015 will be a transitional year for us, I couldn’t be more confident for the future. We have a set of strategic imperatives in place designed to ensure sustainable and profitable growth over the long term.”

But the press release announcing the bad news did not even come with an obligatory upbeat quote from someone in management.

Meanwhile the company has already signed a deal to sell its 13 acre property in Glendale. The Tuscany style campus which housed its studios had been a sign of DreamWorks powerhouse status in Hollywood.

The company’s CFO said that in light of their current financial woes, “Having a large unencumbered piece of real estate on the balance sheet just doesn’t make sense.”

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