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Headline News

Disney Reports Second Quarter Earnings

Disney had "an outstanding quarter financially and creatively," according to CEO Robert Iger. Net income for the second quarter in 2008 increased 22 percent to $1.1 billion.

Segment operating income for the quarter increased 21 percent to $2.1 billion, led by strong growth at Media Networks, Studio Entertainment and Parks and Resorts.

Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the second quarter increased to $0.58, compared to $0.44 in the prior-year quarter. Earnings per share from continuing operations in the prior-year quarter totaled $0.43.

Million Headline News

Bloodrayne Director Sues Billy Zane

Director Uwe Boll has sued actor Billy Zane in Los Angeles Superior Court for revenue money from the film BLOODRAYNE, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Boll says he is owed at least $700,000 from Zane, claiming in the April 30 filing that Zane was the one who suggested Romar Ent. handle distribution of the 2006 box office flop. Zane and Romar head James Schramm reportedly promised the film would open in 2,000 theaters and a $10 million advance from Boll would be used for advertising and promotion.

Macfarlane Headline News

MacFarlane Signs Extension With Fox For $100 Million

FAMILY GUY creator Seth MacFarlane has signed a deal with 20th Century Fox Television that will keep him there until 2012, the studio announced Monday.

The $100 million deal, according to TVGUIDE, makes him the company's highest-paid writer/producer and includes new media, retail projects, FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD and the upcoming FAMILY GUY spinoff THE CLEVELAND SHOW. MacFarlane will also work with FAMILY GUY writer Gary Janetti to produce a sitcom.

Headline News

Microsoft Withdraws Offer, Yahoo Stock Drops

News outlets are reporting Yahoo shares took a tumble Monday, the first trading day since Microsoft said it failed in its attempt to acquire the Internet portal. Shares fell 16.4 percent from Friday's close, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Yahoo traded at $19.18 when Microsoft bid $31 a share for the company in January, and some analysts were predicting it would sink that low. The stock, however, fell $15 percent Monday to $24.37.

Analysts were predicting that News Corp. might try to buy Yahoo, and that Google will benefit from this latest move.

Million Headline News

DreamWorks Animation Reports First Quarter Financial Results

For the quarter ended March 31, 2008, DreamWorks Animation reported total revenue of $156.6 million and net income of $26.1 million, or $0.28 per share on a fully diluted basis. This compares to revenue of $93.7 million and net income of $15.4 million, or $0.15 per share on a fully diluted basis, for the same period in 2007.

Digital Headline News

Digital Domain May Stay Private in Raising Capital

After running into difficulty last week trying to launch its initial public stock offering, Venice-based vfx/commercial studio Digital Domain is now considering raising capital through private equity. According to THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, Digital Domain was not able to close the deal at its asking price of 6 million shares at $12 to $14 a piece. The studio was trying to raise $70 million after expenses.

Headline News

Former Pixar CFO Might Face Charges Of Stock Option Abuse

The ASSOCIATED PRESS is reporting former Pixar CFO Ann Mather is facing a possible legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged mishandling of stock options, according to documents filed Monday in San Francisco.

Mather was CFO from 1999 to 2004. Google, where she is a member of the board of directors, disclosed the situation to AP.

Games Headline News

Warner To Purchase Sci Ent.?

Warner Bros. has invested about $30 million in Sci Entertainment, a British video game publisher, in a move that could lead to the eventual purchase of the company, per VARIETY.

As part of the deal, Warners will distribute and market all of Sci's games, which are published under the Eidos brand in the U.S. and Canada. Warners has already provided logistical services to Eidos, best known for their LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER franchise.

Special Headline News

Version2 Partners With VFX-Animation Shop Special Branch

New York-based editorial and vfx/motion design shop Version2 will partner with CG animation and vfx shop, Special Branch, forming Special Branch@V2 (SB@V2).

The partnership expands V2's current presence, ability, and scope allowing them to deliver a wider range of services and talent depth to its clients. Special Branch is run by Partners/Artists Fran Roberts and Ed Manning. The SB@V2 deal provides an additional dimension to the growing resources available at the vfx /motion design division of V2.

Digital Headline News

Digital Domain IPO Hits Snag

Venice-based vfx studio Digital Domain, which intended to launch its initial public stock offering this week, has apparently run into difficulty closing the deal at its asking price of 6 million shares at $12 to $14 apiece, reports THE LOS ANGELES TIMES. The pricing of the deal is now "day to day," according to Digital Domain's underwriter, San Francisco-based investment bank Thomas Weisel Partners.

The price could be cut or Digital Domain could raise capital through private equity, the newspaper speculates.

Headline News

PorchLight Launches New Faith-Based Label

PorchLight Home Entertainment will launch a new label under the PHE umbrella, PorchLight Inspire, it was announced by Gary Jones, president of PHE, and Bruce Johnson, CEO and co-president of PorchLight Entertainment.

Jones said, "Since our launch last summer, PorchLight Home Entertainment has already established a reputation for releasing the best in children's and family programming on DVD. The PorchLight Inspire label will highlight programming that is inspirational, faith based and family friendly, with a prominent spiritual message."

Headline News

Softimage - PipelineFX Sign Global Distribution Agreement

Softimage, a subsidiary of Avid Technology, announced that it has signed a global distribution agreement with PipelineFX, makers of Qube! software, the leading render farm management software for film production, game development, and digital media education around the world.

Television Headline News

Viacom, Paramount, MGM And Lionsgate Form New Joint Venture

Viacom, its Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Lionsgate have formed a joint venture that creates a next- generation premium television channel and video on demand service that combines new and classic feature film output and original television series of five leading studios.

Technology Headline News

Codemasters And RTT Announce Strategic Technology Alliance

Codemasters, developer and publisher of award-winning video games, and Realtime Technology, a leading provider of 3D realtime rendering and visualization technologies and services for the automobile, aircraft and consumer goods industries, today announced a strategic partnership of technology and knowledge cooperation.

Game Headline News

EU Gives Vivendi-Activision Deal The Thumbs Up

EU's regulatory body the European Commission gave their approval for the merger of Vivendi's games unit with California-based game developer Activision, according to VARIETY.

The nod came on Wednesday, creating a complex $9.85 billion deal that gives Vivendi a 52 percent stake in the new entity, to be named Activision Blizzard. The companies announced their intent to merge in December.

Headline News

Blockbuster Tries For Circuit City

Blockbuster has offered to acquire Circuit City for at about $1 billion, they announced Monday.

The offer was made in a letter sent to Circuit City Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Philip Schoonover on February 17 on behalf of the Blockbuster Board of Directors, which fully supports the offer.

Circuit City has not responded to the offer, prompting Blockbuster to make the proposal public.

Disney Headline News

India Ok's Disney-UTV Deal

Thursday, India's government approved Disney's plan to invest $233 million into media group UTV, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Disney's investment further establishes its entry into the Indian market through UTV and complements its fast-growing Disney-branded businesses and long-held joint venture in ESPN STAR Sports.

With the approval of India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board, Disney will be increasing its stake in UTV to 32.1 percent on a fully diluted share capital basis.

Films Headline News

Horror Genre On DVD Gets Boost With Ghost House

Ghost House Pictures will launch a new film acquisitions company this fall to extend the Ghost House brand to home entertainment, per THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.

Ghost House Underground will release 12 to 20 films a year, mostly through Lionsgate -- owner of the SAW franchise and AFTER DARK series on DVD.

Ghost House Pictures is a horror genre company led by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane. The new venture will team with Grindstone, a major distributor of direct-to-DVD films.

Production Headline News

New Digital Studio For Imageworks India In Chennai

Imageworks India launched a new digital production studio in Chennai, India today, according to THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE.

Imageworks is part of Sony Pictures Imageworks, and will have more than 90 employees at the full production studio working with their counterparts in Culver City and Novato, California and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"We plan to integrate the workforce in different centers as a single unit," said Tim Sarnoff, President of Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Lucas Headline News

Fight Over Stormtroopers Creation Continues

George Lucas and British prop designer Andrew Ainsworth continued their copyright battle in the U.K. this week over the white molded Stormtrooper uniform made famous in Lucas' STAR WARS saga, the ASSOCIATED PRESS reports.

Studio Headline News

Digital Video Arts Moves Into New Studio

Post-production house Digital Video Arts has moved into their new 15,000 square foot facility in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

The new studio is state-of-the-art for the company's work in broadcast film production, post-production, still photography and music composition.

It houses a HD screening room with seating for 24, a bistro-style bar and lounge, two art gallery halls and a patio overlooking a pond and wildlife preserve.

Starring Headline News

Echo Bridge Acquires Alliance Atlantis Int'l

Echo Bridge Entertainment has today signed an agreement to acquire, through a share purchase, Alliance Atlantis International Distribution from Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

As a result of this transaction, Echo Bridge Entertainment would distribute rights to first run and catalog programming from Alliance Atlantis International Distribution worldwide, excluding Canada.

Production Headline News

MPC Coming To Los Angeles

The Moving Picture Company, announced plans to open a Santa Monica-based visual effects facility in late 2008.

MPC LA will initially focus on the U.S. commercials visual effects (VFX) market, and it will also provide a front-end presence to MPC's Los Angeles-based studios features VFX business.