Friday, February 03, 2006

Disney & Pixar Extend Distribution Deal


The Walt Disney Company and Pixar Animation Studios have agreed to extend their current distribution agreement to include Pixar's 2007 release, Ratatouille, a deal that will be moot if Disney's proposed acquisition of Pixar closes this summer as expected.

The two companies negotiated what amounts to a one-picture extension as a fail-safe measure in case the acquisition doesn't happen.

"This is a deal that Disney and Pixar negotiated independent of the proposed merger to handle the distribution of 'Ratatouille' until such time as the transaction closes," Pixar said Thursday.

Pixar would finance all the production costs of Ratatouille and pay Disney a straight distribution fee under the new deal, according to a regulatory filing. Pixar would also own the film.

The extension differs from the current arrangement, where Disney and Pixar split the production costs and the profits, and share ownership of the copyright.