Walt Disney Co. will take a $50 million write-down in the current fiscal quarter for a stop-motion animation project it canceled in August.
The untitled movie was to be directed by Henry Selick, the well respected filmmaker behind "Coraline" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Previously set to be released in October 2013, the picture had been in production for about a year when new Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn halted work.
News of the write-down came in a presentation that Disney chief financial officer Jay Rasulo made to investors at the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
Rasulo did not specify the reasons for the write-down. ...
Mr. Horn didn't want to put any more money into the movie. That's the reason for the write-down. They were halfway through, and the new studio chief decided to proceed no further.
Pretty obvious, I think. A crew of solid professionals was stopped in mid-flight. There were people still being hired, some who were starting within days. All that is gone now, and people have to look for other work.
For crew members who were already working, there is a couple of months additional pay, thanks to federal law. (WARN Act.)