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Universal Pictures Makes Across-the-Board Layoffs

6/17/2014 Lucas Shaw

By Lucas Shaw

Universal Pictures has imposed a 1.5 percent, across-the-board layoff, with 25 employees getting pink slips, the company told TheWrap. 

"Like any business, Universal Pictures is constantly adjusting our workforce to meet the demands of the marketplace and while we never like to lose people, slight restructuring in certain areas is needed to help us remain competitive," the company said in a statement to TheWrap on Thursday.

The home-entertainment division, where the entire movie industry has been suffering from the decline in DVD sales, was hardest hit.

The reductions came just as NBC Universal and parent company Comcast were concluding their third fiscal quarter, a time for budgeting and forward-looking business evaluations. Comcast reported increased profits last Friday, but much of that was due to Olympic advertising and the performance of NBCU's cable properties.

The studio has struggled for the past few years, finishing last in market share in 2009 and 2010 before a slight uptick in' 2011 thanks to "Bridesmaids," "Fast Five" and "Hop."

Though this year almost went in the same direction after "Battleship" flopped, the runaway success of Seth MacFarlane's comedy "Ted" already propelled the studio to its best year ever at the domestic box office. The highest grossing original R-rated comedy of all-time, it has taken in $489 million worldwide so far. 

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