Monday, April 6, 2009

Commerce vs. Art

There's an interesting article in the NY Times about how Wall Street is afraid that Pixar's next release, Up, will not meet their financial expectations. Disney, to it's credit, is defending the film's prospects. The article contains some interesting material on box office grosses and merchandising revenue.

Pixar’s last two films, “Wall-E” and “Ratatouille,” have been the studio’s two worst performers, delivering sales of $224 million and $216 million respectively, according to Box Office Mojo, a tracking service. Attendance for Pixar films has also dropped sharply over the years, suggesting that ticket price inflation helped prop up overall sales for “Wall-E” and “Ratatouille.”

Retailers, meanwhile, see slim merchandising possibilities for “Up.” Indeed, the film seems likely to generate less licensing revenue than “Ratatouille,” until now the weakest Pixar entry in this area. (“Cars” wears the merchandising crown, with sales of more than $5 billion.)
It appears that Up will be the last original Pixar feature for at least 3 years, with Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 in line as the next releases.

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