CNN reports that Pixar Animation Studios has announced it has ended talks with The Walt Disney Company over extending their five-picture deal. “After ten months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we’re moving on,” Pixar CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. “We’ve had a great run together – one of the most successful in Hollywood history – and it’s a shame that Disney won’t be participating in Pixar’s future successes”. Two films remain to be released by Disney – Nomember’s The Incredibles and 2005’s Cars. Pixar will begin negotiations with other interested studios to distribute its films released in 2006 and beyond. Finding an interested studio won’t be difficult. Pixar’s films have made $2.5 billion at box offices worldwide and have sold more than 150 million DVDs and videos.
A TheStreet.com analyst says that “Pixar’s decision offers a further hurdle for Disney CEO Michael Eisner as he tries to steer his struggling media conglomerate into a full turnaround. The news comes as Eisner deals with uncertain economics in the TV and theme parks businesses, along with a pair of dissident shareholders seeking to portray the executive as overpaid and unresponsive to shareholder needs”.
Bloomberg reports that Michael Eisner responded to Pixar’s announcement with this statement: “Although we would have enjoyed continuing our successful collaboration under mutually acceptable terms, Pixar understandably has chosen to go its own way to grow as an independent company”.
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