Search form

Category: Business

Headline News

4Kids to Lay Off 15 Percent of Staff

4Kids Ent. will cut its workforce by 15 percent across all subsidiaries and divisions in an attempt to better align its organization and overall cost structure in the current challenging economic environment.

As a result of the staff cuts, 4Kids will be incurring severance costs of approximately $375,000 in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company has also completed a comprehensive review of its operations and will be taking steps intended to reduce operating expenses by an additional $4 to $5 million in 2009.

Headline News

Watchmen Trial Delayed, WB Not Backing Off Release Date

The trial to determine whether rights to WATCHMEN are controlled by Twentieth Century Fox or Warner Bros. has been delayed by a Los Angeles federal judge to January 20, reports VARIETY.

The two-week delay was set by Judge Gary Allen Feess on Monday, who noted that he is required to handle a criminal matter on January 6, the original trial date. Feess refused a pre-trial summary judgment that was requested by both sides because the contracts between Fox and WATCHMEN producer Larry Gordon are so open to interpretation that a trial is required.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks Adds to Slate, Announces TV Projects

DreamWorks Animation is set for three big 3-D releases in 2010, and in the meantime is working on TV series with Nickelodeon and expanding their SHREK, MADAGASCAR and KUNG FU PANDA franchises well into the future.

The studio's CEO, Jeffrey Katzenberg, made the announcements at an investor's conference on Thursday.

Work Headline News

Double Negative to Open VFX Studio in Singapore

U.K. vfx company Double Negative will open an office in Singapore by March of 2009, according to Singapore newspaper THE STRAITS TIMES.

Animators and designers in the Singapore studio will work on projects like HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRICE, and start with a staff of about a dozen. Double Negative's recent credits include THE DARK KNIGHT, QUANTUM OF SOLACE and HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY.

Production Headline News

NVIDIA Spices up Bollywood VFX Creation

Renowned for a rich culture dating back thousands of years, India is building a new cultural legacy-the movie business. Popularly known as Bollywood, the Indian film industry annually releases 1,000 films, approximately 10 times what Hollywood produces each year.

Headline News

th1ng Launches th2ng

th1ng, the mixed media and animation house, has expanded with the opening of th2ng, a new dedicated live action production company concentrating on advertising.

th2ng (pronounced "th2ng two") will be headed by long-standing SoHo producer Hannah Cooper, and anchored by the talents of experienced live action directors including Dan Lumb and only-just signed Simon Cracknell and Stuart Fryer complimenting the roster of eight directors.

Game Headline News

Konami Takes Control of Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Cards

Konami Digital Ent. is taking over all operational and business aspects of the YU-GI-OH! TRADING CARD GAME, effective immediately.

KDE will take over distribution and customer support for the YU-GI-OH! TRADING CARD GAME from Upper Deck Ent., KDE's former exclusive distributor of the trading card game.

Disney Headline News

Disney Takes Majority Share of Jetix Europe

A subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company has entered into agreements to acquire outstanding shares of Jetix Europe for EUR 11 per share, which will bring Disney's ownership of the pan-European kids entertainment company to approximately 96 percent.

Licensing Headline News

Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Expands to Canada

Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), one of Europe's oldest independent licensing agencies, is expanding to North America. Kelly Elwood, will head up the Toronto office and report to Katarina Dietrich, CPLG CEO.

CPLG Canada is the Canadian affiliate of the CPLG group of companies, recently acquired by Cookie Jar Ent.

Company Headline News

ER Ups North America Chief to Group CEO

From C21Media: Troubled kids firm Entertainment Rights has promoted North America chief Deborah Dugan to CEO of the group, while long-serving commercial director Jane Smith has resigned.

Dugan's appointment comes after former Warner Music chief Nick Philips left the firm on Friday after just nine months in the role.

Sound Headline News

Toei Goes Digital, Adds Postproduction & Sound Stage

Tokyo-based animation and live-action producer and distributor Toei will spend $55 million on renovating and digitalizing their studio, per VARIETY.

The studio, in Tokyo's Nerima Ward, is four-story, 51,161 square feet facility for films, TV and animation production by their group companies. A highlight of the revamp is a new digital postproduction center to process images and sound, including advanced CG and 3-D work.

Online Headline News

EA Acquires Korean Online Game Developer J2M

Electronic Arts has purchased J2MSoft, a Korean developer of PC online games. J2M develops free-to-play online games that are monetized through micro-transactions and advertising. Online games created and wholly owned by J2M include RAYCITY, TAAN, and DEBUT, and other properties to be announced.

Team Headline News

SpeakeasyFX Expands To Larger Quarters

Animation studio SpeakeasyFX, dedicated to creating CG character animation and vfx for the broadcast, feature film, and commercial industries, has expanded to larger quarters. The SpeakeasyFX team has moved into 2,000 square feet at 222 North Avenue West, second floor, Westfield, New Jersey.

Visual Headline News

Method, Riot Bunking Together at Ascent

Beginning January 1, 2009, two of Ascent Media Group's boutique visual effects studios, Riot and Method, will unite operations under the Method name, to offer clients unmatched services for the delivery of high-end visual effects for commercials, music videos and feature films.

Company Headline News

ER Chief Exits After Nine Months

Per C21MEDIA: Nick Philips is leaving troubled U.K. kids company Entertainment Rights after just nine months as its chief executive.

The news was announced to the London stock exchange this morning and followed the news, revealed by C21 last week, that the firm is axing around 22 jobs in an effort to reduce debt and dispose of non-core assets.

Effects Headline News

Martian Labs Lands In BC

Martian Labs is opening a branch of its award-winning vfx division in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In order to expand and adapt to the increasing demands of their clients, Martian Labs is launching this new office to help support the emerging Hollywood-in-the-north industry.

Studio Headline News

Takashi Murakami Opening Studio In L.A.

Japanese artist Takashi Murakami will be opening an animation studio in Los Angeles next summer, according to the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Called Japan's Andy Warhol, and based in Tokyo, Murakami is known for his oversized anime style and already has a studio in New York. The new studio will operate under Kaikai Kiki, his production and artist-management company. Murakami works in painting and sculpture, film and mass-produced goods all under one company.

Headline News

Cinar Scandal Could Lead to Criminal Charges

Prosecutors in Quebec are evaluating the possibility of carrying out criminal charges against the founder of Cinar, Ronald Weinberg, and the former senior exec VP Hasanain Panju, according to Radio Canada. This comes after the conclusion of the investigation by the Safety of the Quebec, the national police of Quebec, that lasted five years, who were looking into how $100 million disappeared from the accounts of Cinar.

Mobile Headline News

Smiley Guy Studios To Restruture iThentic

iThentic shareholders, Barna-Alper Productions and iThentic LLC, have announced a strategic partnership and restructuring of the online and mobile video company, which transfers the management of its operations to Web and animation company, Smiley Guy Studios.