In March of 2006, I published the story 5 Things Steve Jobs Has Misled Us About In The Last 30 Years. In this piece I discussed how Steve Jobs was strategically selling Pixar to Disney at an interesting time in Pixar's history ... a time when two of it's least successful films were coming to theaters; Cars & Ratatouille.
From the article:
The Disney buyout of Pixar ...
Personally, I think this merger comes at a different time than say Pre-Incredibles.
I think the merger is dishonest because this will be Pixar's least successful film to date.
This movie (Cars) is geared towards boys - girls have no interest in cars ... I feel it's why A Bug's Life didn't do great ($160 million) vs Finding Nemo ($340 million) (US Domestic)
A Bug's Life
+ Foreign: $200,600,000
= Worldwide: $363,398,565
+ $26 million for 7.4% ticket inflation according to BOXOFFICEMOJO.COM inflation formula
Adjusted total: $389,400,000
While I'm sure it will be a great film --- outdoing anything Dreamworks could possibly think up ... I just think this deal is being made at a time when Pixar stock could take a huge hit because of lackluster box office results for Cars.
I was blasted in the comments for making this statement. I told friends that I doubted that Cars would make more than $200 Million at the US box office. I was obviously wrong, but not completely ;-)
I predicted that it would do less business than The Incredibles ... Pixar's previous theater release.
+ Foreign: $448,116,087
= Worldwide total: $642,841,197
What movie do you think the above totals are from? A Pixar movie? Nope ... Ice Age 2 ... a 2006 release. Interesting ... Cars is an American thing ... a lot of people don't have cars nor are cars as important to foreigners as to Americans. And as I said before ... cars are more of a male thing.
Animals are universally appealing. Toys are universally appealing. Monsters are universally "appealing".
One reason the computer animated movie Robots didn't do as well (and was a really good movie made by same people as Ice Age) is because not many people can identify with robots ... same as Cars ...
It's not going to be possible for Cars to do this box office (below) from The Incredibles (Pixar's last feature)
+ Foreign: $369,995,000
= Worldwide: $631,436,092
Here's Cars current totals:
+ Foreign: $81,450,000
= Worldwide: $304,809,127
Even if each total DOUBLES ... Cars will be the least successful Pixar film to date for total worldwide box office take.
Here is a review of Cars I did at release:
On a different note:
Were the new MacBooks designed because of my article? I doubt my article had any influence on Apple design ... but I am certain higher ups read it. That article was nothing short of my "15 words of fame" for this site ... receiving nearly 4.6 million hits.
In the article I said:
Of all Macs ... the iBook is by far the worst designed computer Apple has ever made. It looks nice, all the fittings and ports have a tight tolerance construction. But upgrading or replacing the hard drive is difficult at best ... even for a long time experienced technician such as myself. Practically any part (other than the keyboard, RAM, and airport card) on an iBook is a 1 hour job to replace ... on most PC laptops, replacing the hard drive is a matter of 2-4 screws ... same with the optical drive (DVD/CD/Burner) Just opening the iBook subjects you to accidentally severing a cable that may cost a lot of money and may take weeks to get in for replacement.
Now ... the new MacBooks have the easiest to upgrade RAM and hard drive of ANY laptop Apple has released. And for that ... Apple ... thank you.
As for the 3 other things:
1) Apple being too far ahead of the curve ... remains true. However ... I think an iPhone release is getting more and more important for Apple. I don't think the market can mature much more before Apple would be too late. The Motorola RAZR, SLVR, and now the new K1 have already started to dominate. Apple needs to jump in now (or at least before the holidays) and I think they will.
2) Video Content for iTunes - fact is Steve just changed his mind.
" . . . there’s no need for video on devices like the iPod. Video is “the wrong direction to go”, “there’s no content,” “the screens are too small” and competitors to the iPod putting R&D into providing video are “digging in the wrong place.”
Only apologists and Apple fanboys oozed that he said this as misdirection for the competition. He said that he didn't think people wanted to watch video on small screens and now that iTunes video has taken off with immense success ... well ... you know how to complete this sentence. It will be very interesting to see how full feature length movies will be handled with the iPod. I hope that the rumor mill is wrong and that movies will not be "rentals that expire" as purchased from iTunes. Jobs' strongest point about the iPod and iTunes Music Store success has been the fact that, even though the music and video has DRM ... you own it.
3) Overpromising and Under-delivering ... I think Apple has gotten much better at this over the last 2 years ... one way is by having hyped events with small surprises. This way ... media can't alweays expect something revolutionary. (And financial analysts won't take a chunk out of Apple stock the next day either.)
So ... I'm going for 51% wrong and 49% right.