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

19 Comments

  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.

  9. It was really stupid for Disney to let Pixar go. I am sure that will be one of the famous fubars that goes down in history. Mike Eisner is proving the Disney nephew who resigned last year right. He is royally screwing up; going for short term profits and screwing the future.

  10. NoPCZone is right here, many brand owners hive off licensing to specialist agencies who know exactly what buttons to press and how to screw toy and games manufacturers.

  11. Disney has had no direction for years. They have made the most putrid crap and have sold it based on their Walted reputation. This is a great move.

    Pixar up over 4%, Disney down 1.5% today, says it all.

  12. No way Disney can buy Pixar creatives. They fired their creative people in the last years to cut losses. Who in his right mind would chose to give up the “creative first” atmosphere at Pixar to join a company that’s made a living ripping off old fairy tales and legends. And then “Jungle Book II”, how desperate can you get?

  13. Disney is one of the most repulsive, rapacious and downright nasty firms in the US. It was always suggested that its former head – Walt – was a racist, fascist and anti-semite. Both Walt Disney and Gunther Lessing were often found at American Nazi Party meetings in Hollywood prior to the US entering the war.
    All verifiable too… and what was (and still is) true, is the appalling treatment of Disney staff. Disney recently fired over 140 animators and the company’s reputation for poor conditions, lousy benefits, and below par salaries is very well-known in the media.

    Disney – as a company – produced some classic animated films it’s true, but they were always filled with Walt’s own home-spun philosophy of ‘right and wrong’, his racism [blacks have been routinely been portrayed as lazy and untrustworthy ‘crows’ for example] and his warped world view. He was also an enthusiastic, ‘friendly’ witness for the FBI during the McCarthy witchhunts, in which he helped destroy the livelyhoods of hundreds of people.

    Nasty man, repugnant company… good riddance, I say… I fervently hope Disney goes into extinction.

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