Back in April, I made an annoyed post about how Wall Street types were wringing their hands over Up — not because they thought it would be a flop, but because they didn’t think it wouldn’t be an even bigger hit than everything else Pixar has ever done, and therefore investors should abandon that obviously sinking ship. Or something.
Well, it’s slightly gratifying to see a follow-up in the New York Times, featuring this line: “Dead wrong” is how Richard Greenfield of Pali Research put his related analysis in a research note. In other words, Up has done just fine, thank you, where “just fine” is defined as “raking in profits your average studio would be breaking out the champagne for.” (He’s still recommending people sell Disney stock — but that’s based on issues with broadcast TV and the theme parks.)
It doesn’t address my underlying issue, which was the idea that every movie Pixar makes has to reap a bigger harvest than the one before it, or it’s time for investors to bail. From my perspective, Greenfield wasn’t wrong because Up turned out to be a bigger earner than he forecasted; he was wrong because he acted as if the sky was going to fall if it only made a good profit rather than a spectacular one. I still find the insistence on nothing but constant growth to be unsustainable. But at least the guy has issued something of a mea culpa.