Stocks Dip with Pixar Hit?

If any live-action motion picture earned $70 million in its opening weekend, it would bolster great confidence in the studio’s prospects. So why are Wall Street pundits reporting that Pixar’s stocks have taken a bit of a hit in light of this weekend’s big opening for The Incredibles?

According to CBS MarketWatch (www.marketwatch.com), as of midday Pixar’s stock traded at $79.15 per share after closing at an all-time high of $84.45 on Friday. It was widely believed that The Incredibles would earn more than $80 million and failure to meet that mark resulted in the $5.30 drop.

Incredibles co-financer and distributor Walt Disney Co. also saw a slight dip, dropping 39 cents to trade at $26.04. The two companies have only one more film under their long and lucrative partnership. After the release of Cars in November of 2005, Pixar will be able to fully finance its own films and will most likely have a new distributor in place for its two-films-a-year production slate.

While The Incredibles enjoyed the biggest opening yet for a Pixar film, DreamWorks raised the bar for animation when its Shrek 2 opened to more that $100 million over the summer. Given Pixar’s superior track record, many thought the latest pic would come closer to that bar. The film’s legs will be challenged next week with the Wednesday release of Warner Bros.’ CG holiday feature, The Polar Express.