Forget all those Cash for Gold adverts that pepper day-time television like a garrish, annoying pox, the real way to make a clever buck is to invest in Pixar. Look at the case for investment: they are yet to make a film that is not heralded as a success with both critics and audiences; they have yet to make a film that wouldn’t instantly make even the most Scrooge-like bank manager crawl on his belly to lend them money; and crucially, they appear to be going from strength to strength. In short, they are one of the most bankable commodities in the history of business. They’re the bona-fide Sure Thing. Shame their stock will have gone even further through the astronomically high ceiling thanks to Toy Story 3 surpassing The Incredibles’ .5m opening weekend figure with a thumping 9m at the box office.

But don’t just take my word for it. The clever souls over at have featured a look at Pixar’s financial success story, with some nifty looking graphs, and a lot of information that presented on screen together makes for a jaw-dropping amount of good business for the Disney owned animation house. First up, they have a pictorial representation of each Pixar film’s production costs:

The most eye-opening fact here is that Finding Nemo cost over $20 million less to make then Monsters Inc- I know there was a lot put into the individual fur animation that was so ground-breaking at the time, but the Pixar lot sent all of their animators (and presumably some high-ranking free-loaders) on full scuba diving courses so they could get a real feel for the sea before they set about animating it. That’s got to have set them back a pretty penny.

Next up we have the box office performances are each film, in another, equally impressive looking graph:

So, it definitely looks like Finding Nemo is the studio’s biggest hit in terms of money spent and retrieved from the box office- I would love to see a pictogram that includes DVD sales, as I have a sneaking suspicion that the recent Blu-Ray redos of Toy Story 1 and 2 will have helped boost their financial figures, especially with audiences about to experience Toy Story 3 for the first time in Britain very soon.

Feeling decidely math-ish, I had a go at knocking up a graph myself, to indicate the critical reception of each film, so that we can all marvel at the ridiculous ratings that Pixar films inevitably get on Rotten Tomatoes…

If this is any indication, Cars 2and Monsters Inc 2 are sure to break through the 100% barrier with their releases in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The article also has the astounding revelation that merchandise from Cars, the film that everyone loves to pinpoint as Pixar’s one minute blip (just look at the graph what I made!) has made $2 billion in retail revenue EVERY YEAR since it was released. That is insanity. But then, alongside the Toy Story franchises, Cars was easily the most marketable merchandise project of the Pixar films- the simple fact is, pre-teen boys (and girls to a lesser degree) still love playing with their cars.

Toy Story 3 is set to follow in Cars successful merchandise footprints, with an estimated $2.4 billion expected to be generated from affiliated products this fiscal year alone. Not that surprising to me, as I’ve already gone out and bought some (I am a rabid collector of Mr Potato Heads- especially the movie tie-in models), in the shape of these little beauties:

Head over to to read the full article and see the graphs in their intended glory.