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‘Lion King’ and ‘Detective Pikachu’ VFX Studio Shut Down Despite Box Office Success

Moving Picture Company (MPC), which played a large role in the live-action Lion King, Detective Pikachu, and the upcoming Sonic film, shut down its Vancouver location on December 11. The location, which has helped with movies such as Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Life of Pi, and Guardians of the Galaxy, had at its peak over 800 employees.

According to reports, employees at the Vancouver location were told of the shut down in a meeting the morning of December 11, and were also reportedly sent a letter stating the reasons for closure. Such reasons include “increasing external market pressures in Vancouver”, with “more enticing opportunities” in other locations.

Rumors of the shutdown began on December 10 in a Reddit thread, though it’s difficult to verify the validity of much of the information within the thread, including talks of greatly reducing the size of the Montreal location. Seasonal reductions are common in the VFX industry, so it’s unclear whether the rumored size reduction would be a temporary or permanent reduction, if it happened at all.

The decision to shut down the Vancouver location comes just months after the release of Disney’s live action the Lion King, the fourth Disney movie to make over 1 billion dollars at the box office. The announcement also comes less than a month after the unveiling of the Sonic redesign, a project that the Vancouver team had played the most significant role in accomplishing. It’s currently unknown how many employees will be affected by the shut down.

There is no official word on what will happen to MCP’s Montreal, London, Los Angeles, and Bangalore locations.

Written by Tatiana Rosen

I'm an LA native and a graduate from UC Santa Cruz. I enjoy playing video games, watching movies, hiking, dancing, and doing nerdy things with my friends. I’m just here to have a good time. English, Conversational Korean.

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