LIGHTYEAR Director And Producer FIRED By Pixar Following Its Poor Box Office Performance

LIGHTYEAR Director And Producer FIRED By Pixar Following Its Poor Box Office Performance

Disney is in the midst of trying to save $5.5 billion through mass layoffs, and Lightyear's poor financial performance in theaters last year has resulted in its director and producer being fired by Pixar.

By JoshWilding - Jun 05, 2023 05:06 PM EST
Filed Under: Movies
Source: Reuters (via Toonado.com)

Reuters (via Toonado.com) is reporting that Pixar has eliminated 75 positions within the company, including the executives responsible for last year's Lightyear

That movie was released in 2022 to mostly positive reviews (it has a respectable 74% on Rotten Tomatoes), but was far from the critical darling most Pixar movies are.

More importantly, it made only $226 million at the worldwide box office on a $200 million budget. A rare flop for the studio, many pundits have since questioned what went wrong with the movie. The sci-fi tale followed the "real" Buzz Lightyear with Chris Evans lending his voice to the Space Ranger in place of Tim Allen. 

This may go some way in explaining why Lightyear director Angus MacLane, who was also part of Toy Story 4 and Coco's creative teams, has been fired alongside producer Galyn Susman. The latter has been part of Pixar since Toy Story was released in 1995. 

Pixar's Vice President of Worldwide Publicity Michael Agulnek is also gone from the studio.

The news is particularly surprising as Susman is often credited with saving Toy Story 2 after it was mistakenly deleted. As for MacLane, he's a 28-year veteran at the studio, but with more than 70 executives dropped during this round of layoffs, it appears big changes are being made at Pixar.

The cuts at the studio are thought to be part of Disney CEO Bob Iger's planned $5.5 billion cost-cutting measures (which will slash upwards of 7000 jobs across the entire company). 

Pixar has been struggling for a while now. Much of that can be blamed on ousted Disney CEO Bob Chapek for relegating its movies to Disney+ during the pandemic, though it's still been a while since they delivered a true critical and commercial hit. 

Lightyear remains one of Pixar's biggest failures, so those closely associated with the project being fired may have been inevitable. Toy Story 5 is currently in the works at the studio, with the hope being it can now put the franchise back on the right track for longtime fans. 

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