The pandemic has caused a lot of theaters to close, people to lose their jobs. It’s also caused many studios to move release dates and take financial losses. In order to adapt and survive studios have forgone theatrical only windows for release simultaneously in theaters and on streaming services. like Disney+ and HBOMax.
Disney tried to make the best of it with some releases like “Mulan” and “Raya and the Last Dragon” being released as a pay-per-view “premiere access.” However, Disney has just added some of their upcoming theatrical release films straight to the Disney+ streaming service without an additional fee. Giving films like “Soul” and now “Luca” as perks with subscription, foregoing the “premiere access” given to other releases.
Now it’s being reported that the staff at Pixar are feeling “demoralized” over their work being just dropped onto Disney+ without even the “honor” of premiere access, according to former THR editorial director Matthew Belloni.
Just talked to a Pixar friend who says Luca and Soul moves to Disney+ have been demoralizing for employees: “Forget theaters, we’re not even good enough for an upcharge?”
— Matthew Belloni (@MattBelloni) March 29, 2021
Belloni says that he talked to a friend at Pixar who says that the direct to Disney+ releases of “Soul” and now “Luca” have been “demoralizing for employees.” He continued to indicate that the attitude at Pixar is “Forget theaters, we’re not even good enough for an upcharge.”
It’s completely understandable that the people at Pixar would feel that way.
Luca wasn’t even supposed to release theatrically until mid-June yet “Cruella,” releasing on May 28th, and “Black Widow,” now releasing on July 9th, are both getting theatrical and Disney+ “premiere access” release windows.
Pixar has been a powerhouse animation arm for Disney since they paid over $7 billion for it in 2006. Pixar is the gold standard for story telling. They were behind the “Toy Story” franchise that Disney banks on all the time. Other properties Pixar created before acquisition were “Finding Nemo,” “A Bug’s Life,” and “Monsters Inc.” Some of these franchises are ones Disney uses perennially, so it’s understandable that the people behind Pixar would feel a bit upset over their films being sacrifices to the streaming wars.
After Belloni posted this Twitter responded. Many feel that the animators at Pixar should stop feeling that way. Comments range from “entitlement” to they should be happy they aren’t going theatrical because more people can watch them.
Could the calculus be that Pixar movies are viewed as valuable enough to drive Disney+ subscriptions while the upcharge movies are not and are thus reliant on a more niche audience (Disney superfans who are subscribers no matter what) paying a premium for them to get an ROI?
— Chris Bennett (@chriswbennett) March 29, 2021
If that were the case then the Pixar employees would be treated better but apparently they are holding the fact that the films have no box office or revenue against them, which is dumb considering it’s the corporate execs who chose the strategy in the first place.
— bktan (@bktan47559126) March 30, 2021
Please tell your friend @ Pixar to please get a grip w/ reality & remember that a pandemic is still going on. I LOVE Pixar movies & would gladly pay extra to watch new ones on D+, but please read the room. There are people lucky to still have jobs rn.
— Jeff Rothman 🌻🏒⚾️ (@amazingjr87) March 29, 2021
None of them should have an upcharge anyway. I wouldn’t pay $30 on a movie ticket to watch it at home… Add good titles and increase the subscription price fairly once it’s worth that much, and people will pay. They certainly have the most promising content anyway.
— Stefan Panait (@msp_sage) March 30, 2021
Soul was the highlight of my children’s Christmas Day and they continue to watch it constantly. I appreciate that Pixar is a business but the impact their movies have on children is vast. Soul is a masterpiece whether it is on my TV or on a cinema screen.
— Vicki Walker (@Spoonages) March 30, 2021
So they don’t get the accolades for doing their job? Is this why it’s demoralizing?
At least they still have a job.
— f1vefour (@f1vefour) March 30, 2021
After that trailer I would absolutely pay an upcharge for Luca. Not sure what the rationale is here.
— Nicholas Franz Meidas Mighty (@nfranz080) March 30, 2021
At the end of the day, I know how much work and effort goes into animated feature films. In a lot of ways, they’re harder to create. I can understand the disappointment those at Pixar feel and I see why. It does seem as though it’s mostly their titles being dropped at no charge. Even “Raya and the Last Dragon” got theatrical or “Premiere Access.” “Soul” was as much, if not more so, being looked forward to by people. It was never about being ungrateful, I think it was more about feeling undervalued.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
Source: Twitter (all tweets belong to the accounts that tweeted them.)
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