The two companies said Tuesday that
, the final original film in their lapsing, multiyear production/distribution pact, would be released in June 2006 rather than in late 2005, as previously planned.
The move means that Pixar, the highly regarded computer animation studio behind such blockbusters as
, will have a year-and-a-half gap until its next release, rather than the usual one-year gap that the company has usually has.
Pixar's shares, which started climbing in August in anticipation of the release of
early last month, fell $1.13 to $91.06 in regular trading Tuesday, then dropped $3.45 in after-hours action following the release date's change.
longs to be a summer movie," Pixar CEO Steve Jobs said in a statement. "We plan to finish
on its original schedule, and look forward to
and our future films benefiting by summer theatrical releases and holiday DVD releases."
Pixar has released most of its movies in the fall, but on the company's earnings call Nov. 11, Jobs raised the possibility that the company might start releasing its movies in the summer.
In discussing the possible shift, Jobs compared the performance of
, which was a summer release, with that of
which was released in the holiday season. Most of
relatively better box-office revenue, said Jobs, stemmed from the greater midweek attendance enabled by releasing the movie at a time when many children didn't have to be in school.
At the time, Jobs wouldn't say whether
was under consideration for a release-date shift.