Pixar could hatch alliance with Time Warner, Fox

MUMBAI: Hollywood's major media conglomerates are hungrily eyeing Pixar after the animation studio declined to renew its deal with Disney. Two companies said to be in the lead at this stage are Time Warner and Rupert Murdoch's Fox.

Pixar has to its credit hits such as Finding Nemo which has been nominated for an Oscar. A report in the Dow Jones newswire indicates that Time Warner and Fox Entertainment Group are likely to be the new partners based on their domestic and international film-distribution strengths

In a company release Pixar's CEO Steve Jobs said that after 10 months of trying to strike a deal with Disney Pixar had decided to move on. In another release Disney's CFO Tom Staggs said that its management couldn't accept Pixar's final offer because it would have cost Disney hundreds of million of dollars it already is entitled to under the existing agreement. Pixar basically wanted a bigger share in the profits.

Pixar has two more films left under its deal with Disney. The Incredibles will be released this year and Cars next year. Under the terms of the separation Disney will retain the rights to distribute the first seven films made under their deal. However anaylsts are of the view that should Pixar strike a distribution deal with Time Warner the media conglomerate might try to strike a deal with Disney to buy the two above mentioned movies.

In recent years Disney's own movies made under its brand have thus far paled in comparison next to what Pixar has done. Its next film Chicken Little will be released in 2005. Meanwhile a Reuters report indicated that MGM is also inteersted in Pixar. The report stated that Jobs wants a deal similar to the favorable film distribution terms George Lucas has with Twentieth Century Fox for the Star Wars movies.

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