Paramount layoff: Why five percent of studio employees were fired

Paramount layoff will hit 110 employees across six departments, according to a memo sent to Paramount employees. Paramount had a similar sized layoff last fall.

AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
Brad Pitt at the Japan premiere of his film "World War Z" in Tokyo, in July 2013. The film grossed $539 million worldwide for Paramount Pictures.

Paramount Pictures will eliminate 110 positions in areas including finance and marketing as part of a realignment at the film studio owned by Viacom Inc , according to a memo to employees obtained by Reuters.

The layoffs will affect about 5 percent of the studio's 2,200 employees that work on the Los Angeles movie lot or in international locations.

The job cuts will occur primarily in the areas of finance, human resources, information technology, international home media distribution, legal and marketing, according to the memo from Paramount Pictures Chief Operating Officer Frederick Huntsberry.

"As our industry continues to adapt to an increasingly competitive environment, we are always ensuring that Paramount is conducting its business as efficiently and productively as possible," the memo said.

"As such we are making important and necessary changes in how we operate across several business functions."

A Paramount spokeswoman declined to comment.

Paramount studio's second-quarter revenues were down 29 percent, year over year. But profit was off only six percent due to cost cutting, reported the Los Angeles Times in August. In fact, last year at about the same time Paramount laid off 120 employees.

Paramount is the studio behind the "Transformers," movie franchise and this summer's zombie thriller "World War Z," starring Brad Pitt, which grossed $539 million worldwide, according the Box Office Mojo website.

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