Dreamworks isn't too happy with the box office performance of Flushed Away, the new computer-animated film released by the studio as part of its deal with Aardman Animation. The picture has only made about $41 million in the U.S. since it opened two weeks ago, and it isn't likely to come anywhere close to recouping its cost of $149 million. Variety is reporting that the studio will take a "an unspecified write-down" on the film. I'm not good with financial jargon, and I don't understand what this exactly means, but it is something kind of like a tax write-off, only partial. If anyone can explain it better in layman's terms, by all means, leave me a comment.

The part of this news that is easier to comprehend, and a little more unfortunate, is the possibility that Dreamworks will now drop its deal with Aardman. Flushed Away is the third Aardman picture co-produced by Dreamworks. The first two were Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, both of which performed much better. The next Aardman feature, Crood Awakening, which is being co-written by John Cleese, will likely have to be distributed by someone else. This is a shame, because although I haven't yet seen Flushed Away, I imagine it is better than Shrek the Third, which will make Dreamworks a whole ton of money when it's released next Spring.