News Column

Large Layoffs at Walt Disney Co. Movie Studio

April 10, 2013

Walt Disney Co. has confirmed that it is laying off staff at its movie studio, which several media outlets reported last week.

The Los Angeles Times reported April 5 that the cuts were expected to affect the studio's marketing and home entertainment divisions and possibly other areas.

"As part of an ongoing review to ensure that the studios' operational structure and economics align with the demands of the current marketplace, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our staffing levels in several divisions of the studio," a Disney spokesperson said in a statement.

The cuts are believed to be the result of an internal corporate review.

On April 3, Disney's recently acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. subsidiary announced that its video game unit, LucasArts, would 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.

Disney's studio had a hit this year with "Oz the Great and Powerful," which so far has grossed about $454 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."

The Burbank-based company's stock was trading at $59.86 midday on Wednesday, not far from its all-time high of $59.97 set earlier in the day.

The company will release its second-quarter earnings on May 6.


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Source: (c)2013 the Los Angeles Times Distributed by MCT Information Services