Sadly, this is nothing new at DreamWorks, and is in fact the second time in the past year where such layoffs have occurred.
One DreamWorks source stated:
The studio didn’t have enough features that required staff building front-end production elements, so employees in departments that were overstaffed—and who didn’t have longer-term contracts or assignments—were given their walking papers.
Apparently, the studio gave no prior warning to employees that were to be laid off. It was reported that they were forced to leave the studio almost immediately without being able to return to their cubicles to gather their belongings.
The animation studio’s stock has dipped dramatically in 2014, plummeting 35%. How to Train Your Dragon 2 has dropped 46% in the box office during its third weekend. Comparatively, the first movie had only dropped 14% at that time.