The job cuts, which reportedly affected executives behind the commercially unsuccessful movie Lightyear, are said to be part of a larger wave of layoffs announced by Disney.
Pixar has reportedly experienced a round of layoffs, which is said to be the first of its kind in the past ten years.
As reported by Reuters, Disney's Pixar Animation Studios has recently undergone a restructuring process, resulting in the elimination of 75 positions. The decision to reduce staff was partially influenced by the underperformance of the film Lightyear, which did not meet the company's financial expectations.
Some employees involved in the creation of Lightyear were among those affected by the layoffs. One of them was the film's director Angus MacLane, an animator with 26 years of tenure at Pixar, who had been a member of the senior creative team on acclaimed movies like Toy Story 4 and Coco. Additionally, Galyn Susman, who had been with the company since the release of the original Toy Story in 1995, and had produced Lightyear, also departed from the studio.
Michael Agulnek, who had served as Pixar's vice president of worldwide publicity since 2015, was also among those who were laid off, according to Reuters' sources.
Lightyear, which hit theaters about a year ago, fell short of meeting the anticipated performance goals of the company – despite having a budget of $200 million, the film generated only $226.7 million in worldwide ticket sales.
The underwhelming box office performance of Lightyear can be attributed, at least in part, to its exclusion from screenings in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries. The reason behind the ban was the portrayal of same-sex relationships, specifically a brief kiss scene involving Buzz Lightyear's commanding officer and friend, Alisha Hawthorne, and another female character.
The reported job cuts, which are said to have taken place on May 23, are part of massive layoffs at Pixar's parent company Disney that were announced in February this year. This move is set to eliminate 7,000 jobs, resulting in a reduction of operating costs by $5.5 billion.
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