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NY Times: Pixar's "Up" Has Wall Street and Toy Retailers Nervous

The New York Times is noting that Disney/Pixar’s Up is receiving a lukewarm reception from Wall Street analysts and toy retailers (free registration required), leading to fears that the movie will be a disappointment at the box office. Many analysts are concerned that each of Pixar’s movies seem less commercial than the last, and has even led Pixar to take the unusual step of previewing large chunks of Up for audiences well ahead of its May 29, 2009, release date. Toy retailers are also believing that the movie is not very merchandise-friendly, with Target and Wal-Mart both stating that they will be carrying very little Up merchandise.
However, the article also notes that many analysts also predicted that both Ratatouille and WALL-E would be a failure because of its unusual subject matter, and even though neither were one of Pixar’s top performers at the box office, they still earned $216 million and $224 million (respectively) in domestic ticket sales.

In response to the criticism, Disney CEO Robert Iger and Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter noted that they are focusing on the quality of the film first, with Lasseter taking the especially radical position that, “Quality is the best business plan.”

(Related story: Check our writeup of Up at New York Comic Con 2009 and our roundtable interview with Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera.)

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