ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 15: The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger took part today in "Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios" presentation at Disney's D23 EXPO 2015 in Anaheim, Calif. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
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Three or four times a year, Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger crosses from his office on the Burbank, Calif., lot with a couple of fellow execs to Disney Animation Studios, where rooms have been prepared for them. In each, they are pitched a movie. Sometimes the films are no more than an idea, and the room just has some art boards and a director with a 15-minute plot outline. Others are more elaborate—the room for Frozen 2 included a video from a research trip to Norway, Iceland and Finland, a “tone reel” and a wall of index cards detailing themes and emotional threads. Sounds like fun—except that each room represents a $150 million bet on what, in four or five years, audiences will pay to see.

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