Pixar lays off 14% of its staff and abandons Disney + to focus on films

Pixar lays off 14% of its staff and abandons Disney + to focus on films
Pixar lays off 14% of its staff and abandons Disney + to focus on films

Back to basics for Pixar. The famous animation studios, a subsidiary of Disney, began to lay off 14% of their employees on Tuesday, announcing in the process to abandon the production of content for the Disney+ streaming platform in order to concentrate on the production of animated films.

In total, around 175 people are affected, which is less than what was initially anticipated when the American group, at the start of the year, explained that it wanted to reduce Pixar’s costs. In an internal email seen by the New York Times, Pixar president Jim Morris explained to employees that the studio wanted to “return its focus to films.”

Pixar, long untouchable in the Disney galaxy, found itself in trouble after the failure of “Buzz Lightyear,” a film released in 2022, which focused on one of the main characters of the “Toy Story” films. It ultimately only generated $226 million at the box office, on a budget of $200 million. The following year, “Elementary” also disappointed, with just under $500 million in box office revenue, for a roughly identical budget.

At the same time, Pixar produced several animated series in order to strengthen the Disney+ offering, during the launch of the platform, such as “Cars: On the Road”, from the eponymous trilogy, or “Welcome to Doug’s”, which features the dog from the film “Up There”.

The studio hopes to regain success with the release of “Vice-versa 2”, which will allow the viewer to once again follow the tribulations of Riley’s emotions, who has become a teenager, then “Elio”, the story of a little boy in need of help. integration into his school who finds himself ambassador of the Earth to extraterrestrial civilizations, planned for 2025.

Mass layoffs

Disney embarked on an all-out cost hunt last year, with the return of its former boss, Bob Iger, leading to the layoffs of more than 8,000 people – mainly in its media arms, including Disney +. In the second quarter of its staggered financial year, the group announced that, for the first time, its streaming service was generating profits, after having only experienced losses since its launch in 2019.

Disney’s net profit, however, fell to $216 million, compared to $1.5 billion over the same period in 2023, mainly due to asset depreciation and despite a production of its turnover.

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