I don't think anyone in Hollywood doubted that Fox's (NYSE:FOX) Robots would be No. 1 this past weekend. And I know I didn't. I didn't see the flick, but the marketing campaign clearly convinced other potential moviegoers that they'd enjoy a unique and funny film, filled with the humorous adventures of the celluloid machines.

According to boxofficemojo.com, Robots grossed $36 million in displacing Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Vin Diesel movie. Not bad. But several articles I've seen also point out that the film didn't do as well as Ice Age, Fox's previous computer-animated sojourn that brought in about $10 million more in its opening weekend.

I won't argue the relative strength of the two products, but for me, the success of Robots made me think mostly of the failure of Disney and Pixar (NASDAQ:PIXR) to come to terms on a new agreement and why it won't matter much to Disney in the long run. Simply put, there just isn't a monopoly on creativity. Any person (or corporation) that wants to put the work into a computerized cartoon can make one, and perhaps even a decent one. As time goes on, all manner of conglomerates will be able to replicate the Pixar model.

Now, don't worry, all you Pixar bulls out there. I do agree that your company is unique and has a lot of brand equity attached to it. But can Michael Eisner's wish to stand firm on his dealings with Steve Jobs be completely dismissed as self-aggrandizing, egomaniacal foolishness? Not this time. Why give up too much in the potential upside when you can either develop internal projects or hook up with an undervalued partner? After all, the technology is there, and even if you can't beat the grosses of Jobs et al., you at least get to count on a higher degree of cash flow control. One of the best essays I've ever read on this subject was constructed by the Fool's own Rick Munarriz.

None of this is to say that Pixar and DreamWorks Animation (NYSE:DWA) don't represent a purer state of exposure to the hot computer-imagery industry. They do, and in Pixar's case, it will eventually get a deal that would make George Lucas proud, probably justifying its stock run-up. But every time I see a franchise like Shrek raking in the cash or Robots having a pretty good opening, I do wonder why some in the media think it was such a bad idea for Eisner to rebuke Jobs and his bag of toy stories.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. The Fool has a disclosure policy.