Disney, Pixar Extend Distribution Deal for Film 'Ratatouille'

2/2/2006 2:13 PM PST

Disney, Pixar Extend Distribution Deal for Film 'Ratatouille'

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Walt Disney Co. and Pixar Animation Studios Inc. have agreed to extend their current distribution agreement to include Pixar's 2007 release, "Ratatouille," a deal that will be moot if Disney's proposed acquisition of Pixar closes this summer as expected.

The two companies negotiated what amounts to a one-picture extension as a fail-safe measure in case the acquisition doesn't happen.

"This is a deal that Disney and Pixar negotiated independent of the proposed merger to handle the distribution of 'Ratatouille' until such time as the transaction closes," Pixar said Thursday in a statement.

Pixar would finance all the production costs of "Ratatouille" and pay Disney a straight distribution fee under the new deal, according to a regulatory filing. Pixar would also own the film.

The extension differs from the current arrangement, where Disney and Pixar split the production costs and the profits, and share ownership of the copyright.

The animated movie is about a rat named Ratatouille who lives in an upscale Parisian restaurant run by an eccentric chef, according to the Internet Movie Database.