If you are a holder of Disney stock, their decision to push back the release dates of 2 of their Pixar films might have come as a surprise to you as, to analysts, it certainly was. It’s also causing many to revise their earnings estimate for one of the world’s media giants.
Disney announced on Wednesday, September 18 that their next Pixar film, “The Good Dinosaur” will have its release pushed back by 18 months and will now open in November 2015. They’ve also decided to release the sequel to “Finding Nemo”, entitled “Finding Dory”, in June of 2016, seven months later than the previous release date.
It’s actually not unusual to have movies shifted from one release date to another but, as far as Pixar is concerned, this means that there will be no Pixar film in 2014 and will be the first time since 2005 that the computer animation powerhouse won’t be releasing at least one film during a regular calendar year.
The bottom line is that Pixar films are almost always huge blockbusters for Disney and typically gross $500 million or more. This year’s newest Pixar film, “Monster University”, is actually one of 2013’s best performing films and, with over $730 million earned worldwide, it’s the 4th best performing film in the United States of the year so far.
This means that Disney’s studio division is going to face some very tough comparisons in the next fiscal year due to the fact that they will have one less film released in 2014. Their consumer product segment is sure to be impacted with the lack of a 2014 Pixar film as it usually gets a huge boost following any of their releases. This is due of course to the fact that Pixar movie characters are, in general, extremely popular. Whether the move is enough to cause earnings expectation adjustments during the next fiscal year is a question that Wall Street analysts are already considering.
The reason that Pixar and Disney have decided to delay both films is simply that they needed more time to put out the best films possible. A spokesperson for Pixar had this to say “We continue to believe at Pixar, ‘quality is the best business plan’ and we live by that. It is because of this we have decided to move the release date of ‘The Good Dinosaur’ to November 27, 2015, to ensure we make the best film possible.”
Trading of Disney shares is at an all-time high right now and this move comes with 2 of their films holding the 1st and 4th spot for most successful films of 2013. For the most part, Disney seems comfortable with the delayed release dates and, if what they’re saying is true, would rather wait for a quality Pixar film than to risk releasing one that doesn’t live up to the usual standards of the computer animation giant. It’s also of note that “Planes”, their other release of this past summer, didn’t exactly get off to a “flying” start with film critics but is still doing rather well at the box office.