As we told you back in January, the box-office take for Flushed Away was such a disappointment that it soured and ended the partnership between Dreamworks and Aardman Animation. Wallace & Gromit was also cited as an underperformer, even though it made more than $192 million worldwide. Wall Street is now looking hard at exactly how much of a hit Dreamworks took from the poor-performing animated features, and the results aren't pretty: the company has apparently swung from a $63.2 million profit position to a $21.3 million loss. Flushed Away is estimated to have cost over $140 million to produce, and pulled in just $177 worldwide in box office receipts. Variety reports
Jeffrey Katzenberg making the following statement about the decision to Variety: "It's difficult, because we're proud of the work they've done, but this is just not a good business financially for our company." The story notes that expectations are now higher than ever for Shrek the Third, which is dropping in 2007 and is generally expected to do well. The film will be sandwiched in between the release of Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Bee Movie, the Jerry Seinfeld animated feature scheduled for fall, is also highly anticipated, for has a heavy cost structure due to Seinfeld's involvement.