HIT Ent. is set to launch HIT Movies, a new division dedicated to making family-oriented movies out of HIT's library of children's properties, as well as identifying and developing new stories and characters for future family movies. The launch is part of an effort by the company to expand the reach of HIT properties across a variety of platforms, and use films as a means to introduce new HIT stories and characters to a family audience.
Moonscoop, and its affiliated companies Taffy Ent. and Mike Young Productions will unify under the common global brand name Moonscoop for worldwide operations. This move reflects, and is intended to capitalize on, the synergy between its television production, sales, licensing and merchandising and new media departments worldwide.
The "Taffy Entertainment" brand, which handles distribution, licensing and consumer products, and production brand "Mike Young Productions" will now all use "Moonscoop" as a common brand.
In a statement to the press on Tuesday, Konami has detailed the behind-the-scenes issues with the YU-GI-OH! trading card game. In December 2008, Konami Digital Ent. notified its distributor, The Upper Deck Company, that the parties' agreement for distribution and marketing of Konami's YU-GI-OH! Trading Card Game (TCG) had terminated.
C21 MEDIA reports that U.K. global entertainment media company Entertainment Rights is in advanced negotiations with bidders to sell the company's subsidiaries and assets.
Three years after its first try, Danish company Zentropa is restarting an effort to created animated content, reports VARIETY.
A spinoff called Rambuk will be led by Stefabn Fjeldmark, formerly of Denmark's Fine and Mellow Prods. Zentropa recently opened an office in Norway and launched a company to develop computer and video games.
In 2006, they created an offshoot called Zentropa Grrr that produced adult feature PRINCESS and short film JEG SOMREGAL.
Allegorithmic is opening a new subsidiary office in Seoul, South Korea, called Allegorithmic Korea.
A South Korean presence will extend the company's business into Asian markets and allow them to provide dedicated support on Substance and ProFX, Allegorithmic's technology solutions for Korea's fast-growing sector of online, casual and Free2Play games. Allegorithmic's South Korean office will be led and operated by Christian Taewon Kim.
Asian-based CG-animated movie studio Imagi International Holdings will have enough money to complete feature film project ASTRO BOY. The company raised about $25 million to finish the film and will release it on time on October 23, 2009.
Imagi will still have to raise additional financing to ramp up production of films currently scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011 before box office receipts come in for ASTRO BOY.
THE BUSINESS INSIDER reporter Eric Krangel reports that the Better Business Bureau has given Linden Lab, the company behind SECOND LIFE, an "F."
The BBB cites:
-- Number of complaints filed against business.-- Failure to respond to complaints filed against business.-- Length of time business has taken to resolve complaint(s).
DreamWorks Animation announced financial results for its fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2008. In the fourth quarter, the company reported total revenue of $199.8 million and net income of $51.6 million, down from revenue of $290.2 million and a net income $94.1 million the same period last year. These results bring the full year reported revenue for 2008 to a total of $650.1 million and net income of $142.5 million, down from 2007's numbers of $767.1 million in revenue and net income of $218.4 million.
U.K. cinema developer and operator Vue Ent. will add 200 RealD 3D screens to its circuit.
The rollout of RealD 3D-enabled screens has already begun with an installation at Vue's flagship location in Leicester Square. Additional RealD systems are ready for installation immediately as new screens are added monthly at Vue cinemas.
RealD's next-generation 3-D technology is deployed across the world's largest 3-D platform in 34 countries with over 1,700 screens today and an additional nearly 6,000 screens under contract.
Marvel reported a Q4 2008 profit of $63 million, compared to $27.6 million for the same period in 2007, driven principally by DVD sales of IRON MAN.
For all of 2008, Marvel's profit grew 47 percent: $205.5 million, up from $139.8 million in 2007. The revenue and net income growth principally reflects the contribution from Marvel Studios which released its first two feature films, IRON MAN and THE INCREDIBLE HULK, in the summer of 2008.
The second company to emerge from the former Ensemble Studios was announced this week. Bonfire Studios is a 35 person studio currently working on an original IP to be announced in the coming months. The Bonfire team is made up entirely of former Ensemble employees fresh off of the highly-anticipated HALO WARS.
Paramount Pictures has extended its agreement with The Montecito Picture Company and Cold Spring Pictures to run through February 2012. The arrangement gives the studio an exclusive first look at Montecito's diverse productions, as well as the non-exclusive opportunity to co-finance films through Montecito's financing facility, Cold Spring Pictures.
A new production studio will be opening this summer in Philadelphia, called UArts Motion Heads (http://motionheads.uarts.edu/), a studio that incorporates various methods of animation with live-action, original music, voice-over talent, motion graphics and illustration.
rhinofx is dropping off the "f" and "x" and changing its name to Rhino. A year after uniting with Gravity, one of Israel and Canada's premier media development studios, Rhino has updated its name, identity, and vision to coincide with its dramatic and global evolution in both traditional and non-traditional work across TV, film, web, and mobile screens.
On Thursday, Midway Games announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS (via VARIETY). The game developer, best known for its MORTAL KOMBAT franchise, said the filing originated from a change in ownership in late 2008 that led to an accelerated buyback requirement related to two classes of debt they did not think they could meet.
Moddler, a 3D printing company for digital entertainment creators, has officially launched their San Francisco, CA-based business specializing in turning digital designs into real three-dimensional models.
Veteran interactive marketing and integrated promotions executive Gordon Paddison has now launched his new global marketing firm Stradella Road, which will provide entertainment, and corporate clients a wide range of innovative marketing solutions targeting consumers and communities of influencers worldwide.
U.K.-based videogame publisher Eidos has agreed to be purchased by Square Enix for $120 million, per VARIETY. Eidos' biggest franchise is the TOMB RAIDER series.
Warner Bros. owns 20 percent of Eidos, and is now expected to lose about $93 million if the deal is approved by stockholders. The studio invested $30 million in Eidos last year in addition to the $87 million it put up in 2006. Square Enix plans to buy out WB for $24 million.
DreamWorks Animation will voluntarily transfer its stock exchange listing from The New York Stock Exchange to The NASDAQ Global Select Market, an exchange of The NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. The company currently expects that its Class A common stock will commence trading on the NASDAQ on February 26, 2009 and will continue to be listed under the ticker symbol "DWA."
Post-production facility Post Logic Studios, a division of Prime Focus Group, have expanded their film and television restoration services. The company has been managing restoration work for titles such as HONDO and THE RULES OF THE GAME from their Hollywood facility, and has more than tripled its capacity for restoration work through its relationship with Prime Focus in Goa, India. Restoration projects are still managed and completed at Post Logic in Hollywood, however clients now have the cost-effective option of having film clean-up handled in India.
Belgium-based family entertainment group Studio 100 has launched a new animation studio, Studio100 Animation.
Based in Paris, the company's new studio has been established as part of Studio 100's development strategy to create a thriving business in the animation sector through self-funding as well as seeking out co-finance and project development opportuntities.
Heading up the operation is Jo Daris, GM of Studio100 Animation, who will manage the team and spearhead all activities within the division.
French animation company Xilam has bolstered its international sales force by appointing JC Media (U.K.) to handle three English-speaking markets: the U.K., Ireland and South Africa.
JC Media, headed up by international TV heavyweight John Clutten, is a London-based boutique distributor specializing in the sale of children's programs, feature films and entertainment series throughout English-speaking territories. John Clutten will work closely with Xilam's Paris-based Sales Manager, Laurence Marty, who continues to handling international sales for the rest of the world.
Visual effects company Lidar VFX has opened a new facility at Shepperton in Middlesex, the U.K., to enhance their specialized services in the field of 3D scanning and data capture. A combination of proprietary hardware and software together with highly mobile and specialized crews with a "high speed, low drag" motto enables Lidar to supply clients with an accurate, efficient, and cost effective Data Capture service.
Recent credits include THE DARK KNIGHT, HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCE and HANCOCK.
The Walt Disney Studios has agreed to enter into an exclusive long-term distribution arrangement with filmmaker and DreamWorks Studios co-founder Steven Spielberg, and partner Stacey Snider, chief executive officer of DreamWorks, to distribute all upcoming live-action motion pictures produced by DreamWorks under their partnership with Reliance BIG Entertainment, part of The Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, it was announced today by Dick Cook, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.