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DreamWorks Falls as Film Shelved, Cost Cuts Mulled: L.A. Mover

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., the independent studio behind the “Madagascar” films, dropped the most in six months after the company pulled one movie from its schedule and delayed the release of another.

DreamWorks Animation, based in Glendale, California, fell 3.7 percent to $16.78 at 2:14 p.m. New York time after dropping as low as $16.26 for the biggest intraday dip since Aug. 1. The shares had lost 7 percent in the 12 months through yesterday while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Media Index advanced 34 percent.

“Me and My Shadow,” described by the company as a “groundbreaking” combination of computer-generated and traditional animation, was pulled from the schedule and put back in development, DreamWorks Animation said late yesterday in a statement. It was set for release in March 2014. “Mr. Peabody & Sherman,” planned for theaters in November 2013, will now be released on March 7, 2014.

The change reduces the company’s 2013 release slate to two movies from three. The studio is “adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly,” Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg said in the statement.

The Hollywood Reporter said the company planned an unspecified workforce reduction, citing sources that it did not identify. Shannon Olivas, a company spokeswoman, declined to comment. The company finished 2011 with about 2,100 employees, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The studio said it made the change at the recommendation of News Corp.’s Twentieth Century Fox. In August, DreamWorks Animation signed a five-year deal for Fox to distribute its films, replacing Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Under the accord, Fox will handle marketing and distribution of the studio’s releases through 2017.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael White in Los Angeles at mwhite8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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