Studios suitors ‘falling all over themselves’ to woo Steve Jobs’ Pixar

“Now that the studio behind the blockbuster ‘Finding Nemo’ has cut bait with Walt DisneyCo., Pixar Animation Inc. can expect to find itself at the center of a feeding frenzy. ‘There’s nothing closer to a sure thing,’ said one studio executive who expects to be lining up with other Hollywood rivals to court the remarkably successful Pixar,” Sallie Hofmeister and Meg James write for The Los Angeles Times.

“Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Entertainment andMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. said Thursday that they would pursue Pixar and its picture-perfect record. All five of Pixar’s feature-length animated films


  1. Please don’t sign on with Universal!

    It’s great that they want such a “cash cow” but the reason Pixar does so well is that they think about what they’re writing, and how good of a story it will make, not how much money will this ‘bad boys’ sequel make.

    Hollywood Trash!!

  2. I don’t see Universal as the obvious fit for a media-savvy type like SPJ, simply because they lack the spread of media that Pixar needs to create hype and brand equity. Also, their relationship with SKG – which also applies to Paramount is likely to make Pixar uneasy. Paramount/Viacom have a problem as a partner, as Pixar would find itself competing with Nickelodeon stuff.

    I would have hoped for Warner myself: a company which once understood how story was key to animation – remember Chuck Jones – but has since let that part of its business fade against live-action fare, also a cross-media powerhouse including, for the time being, AOL and all of the cable outlets.

    As for Fox, I can’t say how much the idea repels me. And MGM/UA are a studio in name only. Sony would simply be ironic – given the comments that come out of the CE division re: SPJ – although Playstation tie-ins might make it an interesting strategic move.

  3. Pixar reportedly wants a distribution deal such as the one Lucasfilm has with 20th Century Fox. This would give them more profits but also means that, unlike the Disney deal, they would have to put up all money for each project. They would also control all marketing of ancillary items such as toys and videos which would mean, again, more expenditures on their part. They would have to hire more people to do all the work that Disney did for them in promotion. If Pixar finally has a bad film…. well, it’s bound to happen sooner or later, they’ll take the hit 100%. As far as Disney, they still have 2 more Pixar films on the horizon: “The Incredibles” this November and “Cars” next year. An interesting aspect of all of this is that Disney will own all rights to the characters in the 7 Pixar features. They can make a Toy Story 3 or Monsters 2 or whatever. However, in the end it’s all about the Benjamins as they say and Pixar or should I say Steve Jobs likes to go it alone. Ummmm, his decision to do that way back when sealed Apple’s fate to be a niche player in the computer world. Oh well.

  4. With Jobs having successful contacts with the music people at most of these places (for his day job at Apple), I see this as being a veritable free-for-all when the movie people come calling. Pixar is currently the prettiest girl at the dance, thanks to Lasseter and his team, and Jobs is now used to dealing with Big Media. Something tells me that this time around, Pixar gets to set the deal, not the other day around…

  5. Much of the real money comes not from the movie, but from all of the downstream stuff. This leaves:
    Universal with it’s Studio parks in Florida & California
    Paramount with it’s theme parks (Great America)
    Time Warner (Six Flags)
    The product licensing can be done with anyone, even in-house.

  6. Pixar will indeed make the deal, if any of the other studios are willing to swallow it. But what other distribution company has had the success of Disney. You know, many people still refer to Toy Story and Nemo as Disney films. There’s a lot of Disney bashing from some, but they are still the most successful family-oriented film company. Even failures such as Treasure Island do better then animated features distributed by non-Disney companies. Also, this will certainly put a fire under Disney to get their act together. Look for Pixar animators and even writers to we wooed by Disney with better offers. HOWEVER, I wouldn’t say that a Disney-Pixar deal is still not possible. The major hurtle is really the personalities of Eisner and Jobs. They are the same “type”. Controlling micro-managers. This all should be interesting.

  7. What’s more interesting is that Jobs has the leverage of not only Pixar but of Apple with their iTunes/iPod strength. Each of Jobs’ brands can help the other. I’m sure Steve knows this.

  8. There is no way Disney could ever woo Pixar employees. Just like at Apple, they see themselves changing the world. You can’t do that at Disney. All you can do there is work like a drone and feed the monster. Disney is cheap, and doesn’t have the class or the taste to deal with Pixar properly.

    More power to Steve. Just don’t give Fox/NewsCorp a deal. They’re not worthy.

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