Walt Disney Co. expected to begin layoffs
The Walt Disney Co. is expected to begin layoffs in the coming weeks, with the cuts centering on the company’s movie studio, a source with knowledge of the matter has confirmed.
The cuts, first reported by trade publication Variety, are said to be the result of an internal corporate review.
Layoffs are expected to affect the studio’s marketing and home entertainment divisions, and possibly other areas, according to a source. Variety reported that the cuts would also be made in the production department.
It’s not clear how many reductions there will be at the company. Reuters reported Thursday that cuts would be made in the studio’s animation department and in Disney’s consumer productions division.
A representative for Burbank-based Disney did not respond to requests for comment.
On Wednesday, Disney’s recently acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. subsidiary announced that its video game unit, LucasArts, will no longer develop games. As a result, the company said there were “layoffs across the organization,” though Lucasfilm did not say how many employees at San Francisco-based LucasArts would be affected.
In January, the Los Angeles Times reported that Disney’s video game division had laid off 50 workers and closed an Austin, Texas, game studio.
Disney’s studio had a hit this year with “Oz the Great and Powerful,” which so far has grossed about $417 million worldwide. Its upcoming releases include Johnny Depp’s “The Lone Ranger” and Tom Hanks’ “Saving Mr. Banks,” which is about Walt Disney and the making of the studio’s classic “Mary Poppins.”
Disney will release several titles this year that were made by units Marvel Studios, Pixar and Lucasfilm. Disney also distributes DreamWorks Studios pictures.
Disney’s stock was trading at $57.48 midday on Friday, not far from its all-time high of $57.82. The company will release its second quarter earnings on May 6.
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