Multiple outlets are reporting that DreamWorks and Disney are in the final stages of a deal for Disney to distribute DreamWorks' films, and that Universal is out of the picture.
Orphanage co-founder Stu Maschwitz writes on his blog that the company is suspending operations indefinitely. The company, co-founded with Maschwitz, Scott Stewart and Jonathan Rothbart, has been around for 10 years and spawned a commercial division and animation company.
Time Warner reported its financial results for its full year and fourth quarter (ending Dec. 31, 2008) on Wednesday, with an operating loss on the year of $16 billion. That figure reflected a decline of $24.9 billion compared to 2007's operating income of $8.9 billion, due mainly to a $24.2 billion noncash impairment to reduce the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has acquired Snowblind Studios, an award winning, independent game development studio specializing in action and fantasy-based games.
Located outside of Seattle in Bothell, Washington, Snowblind Studios is known for the popular action role-playing games, BALDUR’S GATE: DARK ALLIANCE, CHAMPIONS OF NORRATH and JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES. The studio was founded in 1997.
Disney's first fiscal quarter (ending Dec. 27, 2008) resulted in a 32 percent drop in net income and an 8 percent drop in revenues.
"We faced a challenging first quarter with many of our businesses impacted to various degrees by the economic downturn," said Robert A. Iger, Disney's president and CEO. "We are forcefully confronting current circumstance while investing in the great creativity, brands and assets that are Disney's strengths and keys to its long-term success."
Electronic Arts, in announcing its fiscal third-quarter results, lost $641 million on sales of $1.65 billion during the holiday shopping season that ended Dec. 31. Last year, the loss was $33 million on $1.5 billion in sales. The losses stemmed mostly from two one-time charges: a charge of $368 million related to its wireless business and a $244 million charge for a valuation allowance reserve on certain deferred tax assets.
Quebec Superior Court has given Radio-Canada, LA PRESSE and LE DEVOIR the findings of a study commissioned by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the case of author Claude Robinson against the production company Cinar. The 300-page study concludes that Robinson's work was plagiarized by Cinar. (Via www.Radio-Canada.ca).
The RCMP has had the study since April 2001. At that time, the RCMP conducted a second criminal investigation into allegations of plagiarism by Robinson, who accused Cinar of having violated its copyright by producing the series ROBINSON SUCRO.
Despite nearly unprecedented strength of the yen against major foreign currencies, Nintendo Co., Ltd. on Thursday reported nine-month (April to December 2008) global sales of 1,536 billion yen, an increase of nearly 17% over the same period in 2007, along with 501 billion yen of operating profits, up 27% from a year ago.
Disney-ABC Television Group, a week after the merger of ABC and ABC Studios into ABC Entertainment Group, is laying off 200 employees across all divisions, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. An additional 200 open positions that were frozen will now be eliminated.
Digimation, a provider of 3D content and related services to the entertainment and defense industries, has opened its new office in Orlando, Florida, and the addition of two key employees.
"After careful consideration, Orlando was the obvious choice for us," said David Avgikos, president of Digimation. "Not only is it the center of the military simulation community, it also offers an extensive talent pool from which to draw, which is of critical importance as we grow our business."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS reports that shareholders from an old Stan Lee venture are looking for a settlement amounting to $750 million in profits from films and other works based on Marvel comic characters like SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN and IRON MAN.
C21 MEDIA is reporting that U.K. children's branding firm Entertainment Rights has been fined a 245,000 GBP by the Financial Services Authority for failing to disclose an anticipated $14 million reduction to its profit to the stock exchange.
The company owns rights to properties like VEGGIETALES, WHERE'S WALDO?, CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST, THE LONE RANGER, HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, among others.
In the first time in the company's history, Microsoft will perform broad layoffs, according to THE NEW YORK TIMES. Based in Redmond, Washington, the world's largest software company will let go 5,000 of its 94,000 workers over the next 18 months, including 1,400 people this week.
The company reported the cuts as part of its second-quarter results, an 11 percent drop in net income to $4.17 billion from $4.71 billion in the same period a year ago. A sharp drop in sales for personal computers is blamed for the cuts in personnel.
Responding to the changing realities of the entertainment landscape, and addressing an opportunity to streamline the creative process, ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios will be operated as a coordinated business unit entitled ABC Entertainment Group.
Imagi International Holdings Limited has obtained an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program and began listing on the International OTCQX for greater access to the U.S. capital markets.
Imagi International Holdings Limited ADR began trading Thursday on International PrimeQX, under the ticker IINHY. Investors can find real-time quotes, disclosure and financial information about at www.otcqx.com.
News reports say Warner Bros. will cut 800 jobs, or about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce. Studio heads Barry Meyer and Alan Horn told employees in a memo on Tuesday morning.
Videogame developer and publisher Capcom has signed a development agreement with U.K.-based Monumental Games. Under the terms of the agreement Monumental Games will develop an as yet unannounced multi-platform title scheduled for release and published by Capcom later this year.
Monumental Games was founded in 2005 by Rik Alexander and Rocco Loscalzo and has two U.K. offices in Nottingham and Manchester as well as an operation in Pune, India and currently employs more than 100 people.
Autodesk has announced they will cut 750 jobs, or about 10 percent of their staff, according to wire reports.
A release on iStockAnalyst said Autodesk will "consolidate certain facilities as part of a plan to reduce operating expenses."
The initiatives are in addition to the ongoing actions previously announced that include a hiring freeze, business travel restrictions, and other reductions in its operating expenses.
GenArts Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire SpeedSix Software Limited. As of today, all SpeedSix employees will join the GenArts team and remain in the U.K. In addition, SpeedSix's renowned Monsters and Raptors visual effects will be sold and supported in their current form alongside GenArts Sapphire, creating a family of state-of-the-art image processing and synthesis effects software.
After five years, The Animation Co-op has been forced to close its doors. Co-founders Kevin Geiger and Moon Seun wrote this open letter:
When we founded The Animation Co-op in the summer of 2003, it was to fill a need that we saw for an interactive community of independent animation artists, brought together by their love of this remarkable art form and a desire to share their experiences, creations and dreams with one another.
Japan's largest animation studio, Toei Animation, will turn its Hong Kong joint venture into a wholly-owned subsidiary, per VARIETY.
Toei will buy the shares of Toei Animation Enterprises from its local partner, Animation Intl., a content production company based in Hong Kong.
Last week, Tokyo-based animation house GHD also announced plans to expand into China, with a specialty channel that will broadcast cartoons into China via the Internet and TV. Dedicated to anime, the channel is called Gonzo and will be on a demand service provided by Chunghwa Telecom Co.
Fox and Warner Bros. have reached a deal at long last to let superhero flick WATCHMEN go forward as planned on March, according to news reports. The two sides have been battling for almost a year on the rights to the film, directed by Zack Snyder and based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Alan Moore.
haymaker fx, located in the heart of Gothenburg, Sweden and founded by Alex Hansson and Daniel Tegeland, has officially open its doors to the international commercial, broadcast, music video and film industries.
With its small but creative and efficient team of talented artists who work in a broad range of applications, haymaker fx is looking to take the next step up the ladder. Working together for the past 10 years, Hansson and Tegeland have been involved in creating some of the more memorable music videos, game intros, brand logos and launch films produced in Sweden.
A "Notice Of Settlement Status And Request For Further Hearing" form was filed January 14 in the WATCHMEN case, according to news reports.
A hearing was requested for January 15 at 3:30 p.m. to report the final resolution between Fox and Warner Bros. or alternatively discuss how to proceed on the already-announced January 20 court date with U.S. District Judge Gary A. Feess.
A PDF of the court document is available at IESB.net: http://iesb.net/images/stories/Settlement_Status_Report.pdf.
Warner Bros. and Fox are actively working toward a settlement over the WATCHMEN distribution rights case, according to news reports.
The attorneys for both studios agreed Friday to delay a federal court hearing until Monday so that settlement discussions can continue over the weekend. U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess had been scheduled to rule on WB's request for an expedited hearing on the main issue: whether to block WATCHMEN from theatrical release on March 6, as Fox is requesting.