Disney Chief Says Pixar/Disney Partnership to Last

Disney chieftain Michael Eisner is seeking to counter the notion that the box-office success of Finding Nemo is emboldening Pixar head Steve Jobs to play even harder to get in the current Disney/Pixar negotiations.

Eisner says the boffo box office of Nemo has actually been beneficial to the partnership. “We have a very good relationship with Pixar, I think a better relationship today than we had on Friday,” Eisner told an investment banking meeting yesterday. It’s an open secret that Jobs and Eisner do not get along. And for some months now Jobs has been actively seeking other studio homes for a Pixar deal.

“I suspect we will change the relationship that we have with Pixar,” Eisner said. “But I am sure we will continue to have some kind of relationship with them. It’s a win-win for us and a win-win for Pixar, so at the end of the day I have to expect that we’ll get together.”

At present, Disney gets a distribution fee and box office split from Disney/Pixar movies. Jobs has demanded the deal be trimmed to a mere distribution fee, similar to the deal George Lucas has with Fox.