Cars on Wall Street: Take the train

Can you remember as far back as yesterday when Disney distribution guru Chuck Viane was scoffing off the idea that Car‘s $62 million and change opening was less than what the House That The Two Mikes Couldn’t Quite Destroy were hoping. “As far as expectations go, we’ve all grown accustomed to hitting home runs, and in anyone’s ball park $60 million is a home run,” he would tell anyone who is interested.

Well it turns out that on Wall Street — and maybe in San Diego’s Petco Park where homeruns go to die — Cars’ opening was more of a dribbler past the mound, and with the DVD market as soft as a Carvel swirl, this could be a problem. Apparently when your company pays $7.4 billion to save their core business, the fella’s back east hang a number on all your openings. And let me tell you, Mister Aloha Shirt, you better hit that number.

This is how Ron Grover in Business Week lays it out:

Short-sellers meanwhile had set a mythical $70 million opening as their “bogey,” figuring Disney’s stock would tank if Cars opened with less than that. And sure enough, Disney’s stock fell by 1.5%, to $28.90, on June 12, the first trading day after the weekend. Well, chalk one up for the short-sellers. They got their one-day Disney swoon.

Now the rest of Wall Street has to ponder whether Disney Chief Executiver Bob Iger overpaid to get Pixar, and will be left picking up the pieces if upcoming Pixar flicks also “disappoint.” It certainly didn’t help that his predecessor, Michael Eisner, has publicly weighed in that Disney may have overpaid for Pixar. Pardon me if I don’t immediately jump on the Dump Disney bandwagon for this one.

Spoken like someone who lives in Marin County and wears flip flops to work, like all the rest of those enlightened ones who are charged with saving that beloved Burbank institution. Grover hates on the panic mongers, pointing out that the investment was in executive and creative talent and content that can be spun six ways to Sunday.

What he doesnt mention, is that the scrutiny that Pixar is under is all encompassing and coming from everywhere not merely ‘short sellers.’ Not ideal working environment for the Pixar creative types who work and think outside the box, don’t you think? Is that really worth giving up that luxury box at all those Giants games?