... Marvel's The Avengers set new opening weekend records in May 2012, going on to earn over $1.5 billion worldwide. Among Disney pictures, only Frozen has produced more profit since the studio took full control of Pixar in May 2006.
Most Profitable Films -- Total Gross -- Gross Profit -- Profit %
Frozen -- $1,274,219,009 -- $628,559,074 -- 40.57%
The Avengers -- $1,518,594,910 -- $621,295,630 -- 35.82%
Toy Story 3 -- $1,063,171,911 -- $447,485,580 -- 34.13% ...
... From the close of the Pixar acquisition on May 9, 2006, to today, Disney has added roughly $90 billion in market cap -- from just over $62 billion to more than $155 billion as of this writing. Pixar is probably responsible for over half those gains. ...
Which isn't to say that Marvel's been a slouch, just that buying Pixar (which, let's face it, wouldn't have happened if Michael Eisner had remained in charge) has been one of Iger's better strategic moves.
One management team (Catmull and Lasseter) runs two successful cartoon studios; also, too, the less successful DisneyToon Studios. So all in all, the $7.2 billion purchase of Pixar in 2006 has paid off.
The Marvel acquisition has worked well too, just not as richly as the Emeryville pick-up.
And with the torrent of good news, there was today this announcement:
Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios promoted both Walt Disney Animation Studios' Andrew Millstein and Pixar Animation Studios’ Jim Morris to president.
“We're fortunate and proud to have an abundance of strong creative leadership at Disney, and Andrew and Jim are two incredible talents that embody the perfect blend of business and artistic focus,” said Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. ...
To give you the chronology, Mr. Millstein was a DreamQuest executive when Disney bought the visual effects house in the late '90s. (This was long before VFX studios were dying like fruit flies. Andrew was part of the Disney team that negotiated the Secret Lab contract in 1999. I was part of the union group on the other side of the table).
Andrew Millstein ran The Secret Lab -- feature animation's internal visual effects facility -- and after that Disney Animation Florida. When the Orlando facility closed in the mid oughts, Mr. Millstein returned to the California studio (now known as The Walt Disney Animation Studios, and has worked there ever since.
Congratulations to both Andrew and Jim Morris.