Imagine Entertainment Lays Off Staff

Ron Howard & Brian Grazer
Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images

Howard and Grazer celebrate "A Beautiful Mind's" best picture Oscar win in 2002.

Five people lose their jobs as a new Universal pact offers a reduced financial package.

Imagine Entertainment, the Universal-based production company headed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, has laid off five employees, including production executive Jeremy Steckler.

The move comes in the wake of Imagine re-upping its longterm relationship with Universal until 2016 at what sources say is a significantly reduced financial package. Imagine has had a tough year, with the box office disappointments The Dilemma, Cowboys & Aliens and Tower Heist failing to ignite audiences. In its long history, the company has produced the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, as well as such hits as 8 Mile and The Nutty Professor.   

Producers throughout Hollywood are seeing their once-lucrative deals slashed. As THR reported last year, the number of rich production pacts at studios has shrunk dramatically in recent years. Steckler had only joined Imagine in March 2010.