The producers of two of the most successful film franchises at DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. have been named as co-presidents of feature animation, replacing the former animation chief at the Glendale studio, which has suffered poor box-office results.
Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria will oversee the creative development and production for the theatrical releases from the Glendale studio. They are replacing Bill Damaschke who served as chief creative officer since 2011, the studio announced late Sunday.
The pair have produced a combined eight films for DreamWorks - Soria the "Madagascar” films and Arnold the two “How to Train Your Dragon” films.
The change in leadership comes at a time when DreamWorks Animation has seen disappointing box office results and has taken write downs on three films over two years - $57 million on “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” released this spring; $13.5 million on the summer 2013 release “Turbo” and $87 million on the holiday 2012 release, “Rise of the Guardians.”
DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Katzenberg called Arnold and Soria two of most accomplished filmmakers in feature animation today.
“I am confident in their ability to marshal the extensive creative resources available at our studio and lead DreamWorks’s vast ranks of artists and filmmakers as they produce the highest quality entertainment,” Katzenberg said in a prepared statement.
The summer release “How to Train Your Dragon 2” was a bright spot for the studio with a domestic box office take of $177 million and international box office receipts of more than $440 million.
Soria was an executive producer on the fall release “Penguins of Madagascar” that has brought in more than $270 million in global box office.
“Great storytelling is the heart of DreamWorks Animation, and we are honored and excited to help shape the movies that will entertain audiences around the world," Arnold and Soria said in a prepared joint statement.