Pali Research media analyst Richard Greenfield has admitted that he was "dead wrong" in his assessment of Disney/Pixar's Up, which he predicted would fail to become a big hit for the studio. In particular Greenfield had claimed that the film's hero, a cranky 78-year-old voiced by Ed Asner, was not the sort of character that would attract Disney's core audience, young boys, and would be nearly impossible to merchandise. (At the time, Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook responded, "I think we've all learned that a great story, no matter what it is, told well and with great characters is going to find a big audience. ... Time and again people tend to stereotype movies; they'll say 'pirates never work,' or 'older protagonists' never work, and each time, the marketplace tells you differently." In a research note sent to clients on Wednesday, Greenfield said, "The recent success of Pixar's Up (well ahead of our forecasts) has renewed investor confidence in Disney's creative capabilities." After six weeks, the movie has earned more than $265 million, making it Disney's second-highest grossing film ever domestically, after Finding Nemo. Today's (Thursday) New York Times observed that other analysts have been praising Disney "for allowing its Pixar unit to pursue Up despite the film's obvious commercial risk."

09/07/2009