The embattled studio is letting go of marketing chief Dawn Taubin, vice-chair Lew Coleman and COO Mark Zoradi as it plans to lay off approximately 500 people and cut the feature slate to two films a year.

In a call with analysts on Thursday (January 22) announcing the restructure, DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg said that he was returning his focus to the core business of making “outstanding” features.

Katzenberg said the company, which in recent years has turned its sights to digital and short-form entertainment alongside the film roster, expected to take another write-down of approximately $55m pursuant to the poor performance of Penguins Of Madagascar and Mr. Peabody & Sherman.

The studio has already put into effect write-downs on Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Rise Of The Guardians and Turbo.

The first three quarters of 2014 resulted in a 10% revenue drop and a $46.4m net loss. The corresponding period in 2013 generated a $37.9m profit.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 has offered a glimmer of good news and generated $618.9m worldwide and is in contention for the best animation Oscar.

Cutting roughly 500 jobs equates to a loss of around 20% of the 1,950-strong workforce.

Commencing in 2016 DreamWorks Animation will make one original film and one sequel each year.

Co-presidents Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will oversee the slimmed-down slate, whose sole 2015 release is Home set for March 27.

Kung Fu Panda 3 is scheduled to open on March 18 2016 followed by Trolls on November 4 2016.

2017 brings Baby Boss on January 13 and The Croods 2 on December 22, while Captain Underpants is still scheduled for that same year but is being outsourced.

The Larrikins is set to arrive on February 16 2018 and How To Train Your Dragon 3 on June 29 2018. B.O.O. is going back into development.

Last year both Japan’s Softbank and Hasbro courted DreamWorks Animation, although neither episode amounted to a sale.

  • PDI, the animation house DreamWorks Animation acquired completely in 2000 following a 40% buy in 1996, is being shut down as part of the restructure.