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Another Voice
09-24-2003, 01:27 PM
From this morning's 'Studio Breifing' newletter (http://studiobrf.newshare.com/):

EISNER REPORTS NO PROGRESS IN TALKS WITH PIXAR

Disney Chairman Michael Eisner acknowledged Tuesday that little progress has been made in contract-renewal negotiations with Pixar Animation Studios and that the two sides remain far apart. Today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times said that Eisner conveyed his "sober message" to the company's board of directors, who in turn advised Eisner not to sign a contract with Pixar unless it makes financial sense. Pixar has produced five animated features for Disney, including the recent Finding Nemo, which has earned $335 million -- more than any animated film in history. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Disney has decided to shut down its animation unit in Japan in an effort to cut costs. The unit was opened 14 years ago and employs 103 people.

mjstaceyuofm
09-24-2003, 01:32 PM
Today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times said that Eisner conveyed his "sober message" to the company's board of directors, who in turn advised Eisner not to sign a contract with Pixar unless it makes financial sense. So if a deal with Pixar doesn't get done, does the board hold some of the blame as well as Eisner???

Galahad
09-24-2003, 01:32 PM
who in turn advised Eisner not to sign a contract with Pixar unless it makes financial sense

Does this mean "Mike, don't roll over for Pixar".? If so, are there circumstances where a continued deal with Pixar is a bad move and ME would have been right for not getting it at all costs?

ThreeCircles
09-25-2003, 09:59 AM
Bye-bye Pixar!

DancingBear
09-25-2003, 11:47 AM
Today's (Wednesday) Los Angeles Times said that Eisner conveyed his "sober message" to the company's board of directors, who in turn advised Eisner not to sign a contract with Pixar unless it makes financial sense.I see this as the board doing exactly what Eisner whats it to do. If he keeps talking to Jobs, Eisner can say "Steve, we love you guys, but I can only go so far." If he stops talking to them, he can say he was following the board's orders.

princessandie77
09-25-2003, 02:49 PM
It doesn't seem that he has sat down to think WWWD.

raidermatt
09-25-2003, 06:01 PM
So if a deal with Pixar doesn't get done, does the board hold some of the blame as well as Eisner???
For just about all intents and purposes, they are one and the same, so sure, they can be blamed as well.

CarolMN
09-28-2003, 12:45 PM
I don't understand some of you at all!

Why would anyone outside of a philanthropist want to make a business deal that doesn't "make financial sense?" (And even they invest their endowment funds in businesses that do take their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously).

With all due respect, executives and board members have fiduciary responsibilites to their stockholders!

Would you want someone you invested your hard earned $$ with to make deals that don't "make financial sense?" Would you want to work for such a company (for the short time that it would actually be in business)?

Never mind explaining. I'll probably regret posting. :rolleyes:

Kuzco
09-28-2003, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by mjstaceyuofm
So if a deal with Pixar doesn't get done, does the board hold some of the blame as well as Eisner???

Of course. But the board of any company often should take some of the blame for bad company decisions, even if it always appears that the CEO is making the decisions. The board influences a lot of the decisions the CEO makes, as it is, in a sense, his/her "boss."

I'm not trying to say that a decision to end a relationship with Pixar is a bad business decision. I just don't think that all of the blame should always be directed at Eisner, even though it is easy to jump on the anti-Eisner bandwagon. :)

Walt's Frozen Head
09-28-2003, 02:30 PM
I'm not trying to say that a decision to end a relationship with Pixar is a bad business decision. I just don't think that all of the blame should always be directed at Eisner, even though it is easy to jump on the anti-Eisner bandwagon

The point is that "the death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" is not the important milestone, here. "The death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" is a symptom of a virus infecting Disney.

"The death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" wouldn't be a big problem... if Disney had its own CGI studio (Eisner closed Disney's CGI studio years ago: he said CGI was dead). "The death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" wouldn't be a big problem... if Disney had other relationships with CGI shops (Eisner's business with Lucas and Katzenburg has resulted in endings much like his business with Jobs). "The death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" wouldn't be a big problem... if it didn't represent just one more hardship created by the business policy that it is better to buy a product line than to create one.

The public fireworks of the Disney/Pixar divorce come long after the business decisions that made such result inevitable.

It will get worse. We have not yet seen the full effect of Michael Eisner's leadership evidenced on Disney's results. Just wait 'til the Pooh hits the fan.

Planogirl
09-28-2003, 02:38 PM
Originally posted by Walt's Frozen Head
Just wait 'til the Pooh hits the fan.
Now that is a statement worth noting.

Kuzco
09-28-2003, 02:41 PM
Originally posted by Walt's Frozen Head
The point is that "the death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" is not the important milestone, here. "The death of the Disney/Pixar relationship" is a symptom of a virus infecting Disney.

Sorry, Walt's Frozen Head. I was only referring to this one incident and the question of if the board was to blame, not the long line of Disney problems...

AKemel
09-28-2003, 04:55 PM
It is not easy to buy low and sell high. We all have wished we bought that stock before it hit the big time. Disney has signed a contract with a company to provide unproven animation technology. It has been a GREAT decision. They have made a ton of money for nothing. Now Disney has nothing to offer them, so they will be going on their own. What is left is to look for a new upstart company to try to work with. This is just venture capitalism.
Disney has made animated movies, which not due to the lack of funding have not done well. They also made a LOT of junk that has made them money. Hopefully by getting rid of Japan and other “direct to video quality” animation, they can concentrate on fewer and hopefully more successful projects.

airlarry!
09-28-2003, 09:18 PM
Would you want someone you invested your hard earned $$ with to make deals that don't "make financial sense?" Would you want to work for such a company (for the short time that it would actually be in business)?
I'll volunteer to help with your never mind. ;)

The shareholders at both companies desire the best deal for both companies. If that meant at the time that Ei$ner throws in a "free" movie in the contract, and at the same time, extends the deal with a new deal with better terms for Pixar, then both boards would have been happy.

It depends upon the way you look at it. It depends upon whether or not you believe at a certain time in their relationship things were on a good enough note that Lassiter would have convinced Job$ to sign a new deal with Disney, and that Ei$ner was $mart enough to jump on that. (Ed. note: He isn't.)

I love it when people here make noise that it would be financially stupid to give TS2 to Pixar as a freebie.

Which one is better: TS2 as a freebie, tied into a long term contract, or Pixar as a free agent? Before I get skewered, I may have the timeline incorrect, but what I am saying here, is Disney reworking the deal at anytime before the Finding Nemo p.r. mess BEFORE the contract is up, extending generous terms to Pixar in exchange for a long, long, long term contract. Something as close to forever as you can get in Divorceville...err Hollywood.

That's where the road turns, folks. Some will keep looking at the details, and say the rig could not have fallen. Others will look at the big picture and say the rig did fall, and that Ei$ner's chickenfingerprints were all over the disaster.

Peter Pirate
09-28-2003, 09:48 PM
Larry, what gives you any indication that Jobs would have re-upped as good will? Is there anything in his background that indicates a proven amount of fairplay? The squawk coming out of Pixar sounds like Disney was a vehicle to success, nothing more...

crusader
09-29-2003, 06:58 AM
Job$ would have taken that freebie and reminded Lasseter that his job is to produce not negotiate, while he proceeded to auction off the fifth script to the highest bidder.

Lasseter's options are simple - fulfill his contractual obligations and attempt to live happily ever after.

DancingBear
09-29-2003, 07:09 AM
Originally posted by airlarry! Which one is better: TS2 as a freebie, tied into a long term contract, or Pixar as a free agent? Before I get skewered, I may have the timeline incorrect, but what I am saying here, is Disney reworking the deal at anytime before the Finding Nemo p.r. mess BEFORE the contract is up, extending generous terms to Pixar in exchange for a long, long, long term contract. Something as close to forever as you can get in Divorceville...err Hollywood.So the conversation would go like this:

Steve: "Mike, I know the contract says otherwise, but I want you to count TS2 toward our 5-picture minimum, so we can get out of the deal earlier."

Mike: "Okay, Steve, but while we're doing that, let's turn the 5-picture deal into a 20-picture deal. We'll give Pixar a bigger cut."

Steve: "Mike, I don't think you heard me....."

DisneyKidds
09-29-2003, 10:58 AM
Me thinks that DB has a bead on how the conversation might have gone..............but we'll never know.
If that meant at the time that Ei$ner throws in a "free" movie in the contract, and at the same time, extends the deal with a new deal with better terms for Pixar, then both boards would have been happy.
Problem is, while it is very easy to sit back and play Monday morning quarterback here, all our would have, should haves don't mean things would have worked out anywhere near how we might think they would have. For instance.............Pixar wanted to amend the terms of the original agreement to have TS2 count toward the five. Did they want to do that simply so they could fulfill the contract sooner and get out? Did they want to do that so they could meet the committment on the five (with the existing financial terms) sooner so that they could negotiate a new contract for more films with better terms for Pixar? Fact is we don't know. We don't know if trying to have TS2 count meant that Pixar wanted out, or if they wanted to get to better terms longer term. We'll never know.

I think there is cause for the (potential likely) breakup on both sides here.

You say Hollywood is about relationships and ME killed this one. The likely truth is that it was going to die no matter what, and both sides helped precipitate that death. This is business after all, and such things happen all the time. The only question is did it have to die sooner or later, but we don't even know if there was real choice in the matter, and we don't have any idea what the terms might have been.

I'll say it again, if this (potential likely) breakup happens and it leads to Disney doing again what they should have been doing all along.................creating for themselves...........the sooner the better. If not it will be interesting (and possibly painful.........but who knows) to see what Disney works out...................I guess we'll just have to strap in for the ride.