Pixar, a subsidiary of Disney, is the latest in a long line of firms facing layoffs in 2024, reports TechCrunch. Initial reports suggested that the layoffs could be as much as 20% of Pixar’s workforce, but Pixar has since denied that it will be that many.
The scope of the layoffs and the number of staff who will be affected is being decided based on production schedules and future films that have already been greenlit.
According to insiders, Pixar was required to hire additional staff to bolster its workforce on streaming content for Disney+. As these shows complete production, the studio has more staff than necessary and cuts are inevitable. Disney’s streaming division is yet to turn a profit, despite multiple new Pixar releases being straight-to-streaming.
Disney CEO Bob Iger told investors during a recent earnings call that Disney+ is expected to become profitable by Q4 2024. Iger put this down to restructuring, which “enabled tremendous efficiencies.”
From cinema to streaming and back to cinema
‘Elemental’, Pixar’s most recent film, was considered to be a box-office flop, bringing in just $29.5 million during its opening weekend. However, it went on to be successful and profitable, making its mark as the most-watched film on Disney+ during the quarter it was released.
Analysts believe that the release of several huge Pixar movies (such as ‘Soul’ and ‘Turning Red’) on Disney+ instead of in cinemas has “trained audiences to expect big, hot Pixar content at home.” Speaking to TechCrunch, Brandon Katz of Parrot Analytics continued, “Retraining the audience to re-embrace the theatrical experience and prioritize that…takes time.”
As well as this consumer habit shift, Katz mentioned the other changes undergoing audience behavior, which include a move away from sequels. In the 2010s, pre-established IPs were popular with audiences, requiring lower effort marking and coming with pre-established buy-in from fans. Now though, franchise fatigue is plaguing audiences.
The race to streaming profitability will be a driving force for companies in 2024, with mergers and buyouts abound. However, a spate of layoffs has plagued the tech industry and does not look to be stopping. It is a tumultuous time as a whole and staff everywhere will be uneasy at the continued job cuts.
Earlier today (Jan.12), the communication platform Discord released plans to lay off 170 staff.
Featured image credit: Disney/Pixar
The post “Pixar expected to announce layoffs early in 2024” by Ali Rees was published on 01/12/2024 by readwrite.com