Pixar Animation Studios scared up an 89% surge in first quarter profits thanks to “Monsters, Inc.”
The hit pic, which collected $514 million at the global B.O., generated $37.1 million in revenues for Pixar. That’s a significant improvement over the $16.2 million it collected in the same three month period in 2001.
Those numbers helped the Emeryville, Calif.-based company post a profit of $15.6 million, compared to $8.3 million in the year ago quarter.
“2002 is coming in a bit stronger than we planned, with ‘Monsters, Inc.’ crossing the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office to become the second-highest grossing animated film of all time,” said Pixar topper Steve Jobs, who is also CEO of Apple Computer. “We’re looking forward to releasing the ‘Monsters, Inc.’ home video in September, and we’re hard at work on our last three films under our current Disney deal.”
Disney currently markets and distribs Pixar’s pics. “Finding Nemo” is slated for 2003, “The Incredibles” bows in 2004, and “Cars” hits theaters in 2005, which marks John Lasseter’s return to the director’s chair following “Toy Story 2.” There is no word yet on whether the two companies will pair up again once those pics are released.
Either way, the release dates signal Pixar’s long-term plan to release one of its animated pics each year, which should greatly benefit the company’s bottom line in the future.
Shares of Pixar have been rising for the last three months from a recent low of around $31. They closed up 94¢ at $41 on Wednesday, ahead of the earnings release, but the shares are still far from their all-time high of more than $60, marked in July 1998.