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Pixar Animation Studios
Typical Con Call - Almost

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By txbuckeye
November 12, 2004

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For the most part, it was the usual ho-hum: "We exceeded earnings expectations, we have a lot more cash, our movies are doing great, our video unit sales are great, no news about a dist deal, no we're not going to make more than 1 film a year, no we're not going to make TV shows, no we're not going to split the stock, yada yada yada."

Gotta love it.

But there was one big new balloon that Mr. Jobs floated out there. It seems they are "considering" moving their traditional release schedule to be more like Nemo than all of their other films. It seems they've been looking at the numbers and think the summer time is better for 2 reasons.

#1 - midweek performance. FN and MI had pretty close opening weekend hauls, but FN had a much bigger overall take. They looked at the numbers and found that 65% of the difference in final DBO (about $54M) could be accounted for by the difference in the mid-week sales.

#2 - Video release timing. By having a summer release, they can release the video in time for the holidays, which makes a big difference in unit sales.

Would this mean moving a release UP 6 months? Well, no. It would mean the opposite, slipping the schedule by 6 months. And they would only do so if they felt the additional revenue was enough to offset the cost of delaying.

Now, on the surface, this seems reasonable enough. But when you combine it with Steve's answers to the questions about a new dist. deal, then you can start to think of many ways this could go. Consider the following:

When asked when they'd announce a new deal, Steve said that they are not in a hurry and that you could expect something "next year."

When asked, "Why wait?", he spoke about lots of musical chairs and changes in the industry and that they felt that it was in their best interest to see how it plays out.

When asked, does slipping the schedule allow you more time to announce a new deal, he said "Yes."

Hmmmmm. Waiting to see what happens at The House of Mouse perhaps? While I don't relish the idea of going 18 months without a film release, this certainly sounds like a carefully planted seed.

Oh yeah - there were a few good stats on The Incredibles:
The audience was 50/50 men vs. women. It was 30% non-family. It scored very high with all groups in exit polls (adults, teens and under 12). 91% of folks rated it either excellent or very good and 82% would recommend it to others. These were actually higher scores than Nemo received, so they like the prospects.

No digs on Dreamworks this time, but he did take a small potshot at WB. When discussing box office and competition, he said, "The Incredible derailed the Polar Express as is left the station." This was in reference to yesterdays BO #s in which TI was 73% higher the PE.


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