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Headline News

EM.Entertainment, Your Family Ent. End Distribution Co-Operation

EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent., based in Munich, will end the distribution co-operation agreement they've had since March 2004 by mutual agreement on September 30, 2008.

Furthermore, the exclusivity granted to EM.Entertainment was nullified effective June 30, 2008. Therefore, the program portfolio is distributed on a non-exclusive basis by both EM.Entertainment and Your Family Ent. until the agreement expires on September 30.

Work Headline News

Not To Scale Signs With Yellow House Paris In A Dual Representation Deal

London-based animation studio Not To Scale has signed an exclusive dual representation deal with Yellow House Paris for them to represent most of their U.K. roster in France. National TV, Coan & Zorn, Ubik, Chris Ketchell and other Not To Scale directors will now be available for work locally in Paris.

Similarly, Not To Scale will have access to produce work with Yellow House's eclectic roster in the U.K. Adding the work of the surreal and enigmatic DouDouBoy and Laurent Bebin to the U.K. roster.

Headline News

Sony Trying To Get Hollywood Onboard For PS3 Download Service

Sony is set to launch their long-awaited video download service on the PlayStation 3 this summer, but is still working on getting major studios onboard, per VARIETY.

At a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Kaz Hirai, President and CEO of Sony Computer Ent., announced plans to allow users to download movies and TV shows via their PS3 consoles starting this summer in the U.S. and soon after in Europe and Asia. This service has been in the works since the PS3 debuted in 2006.

Moonscoop Headline News

Moonscoop And DQ Form Partnership For Global Co-Productions And Distribution

Animation company DQ Ent. International (DQE) and brand management company MoonScoop Group have entered into a strategic alliance. to co-produce at least five TV series and two feature films (animated and/or live action) for worldwide distribution, with estimated global costs of over $100 million.

Animation Headline News

aniBoom Secures Additional $10 Million In Funding

aniBoom has just closed a $10 million Series B round of funding led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) and DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures and existing investor Evergreen Venture Partners. The company will leverage the new financing to expand operations, fund short form premium content for web and mobile platforms, and develop original animation series for television.

Studio Headline News

Ubisoft To Open 20th Studio In Brazil

Ubisoft will expand its award-winning development teams with the opening its first production studio in South America.

The decision to establish a studio in Sao Paulo was directly tied to the fact that the city is the economic capital of Brazil, itself the economic leader in South America. It's also a cultural hotspot, with a young and creative population that has shown a passion for new technology and media, Sao Paulo boasts the largest grouping of universities on the continent.

Headline News

Godfather Creator's Son Sues Paramount

Anthony Puzo, the son of THE GODFATHER creator Mario Puzo, sued Paramount Pictures on Wednesday, according to the ASSOCIATED PRESS. Puzo claims the studio failed to pay royalties from a 2006 video game from Electronic Arts featuring the characters from the book and epic films.

Puzo, of New York, claims in a court filing that he represents his late father's estate, and is seeking more than $1 million in damages for breach of contract.

Media Headline News

Two Viz Media Parent Companies Give Manga Comics Licensing More Flexibility

Animation publisher and licenser VIZ Media has announced that one of its parent companies, Japanese publisher Shueisha, has made an investment in Shogakukan Production Company., the licensing and merchandising subsidiary of Japanese publisher Shogakukan, Inc., another of VIZ Media's parent companies.

ShoPro will be renamed Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions.

Games Headline News

Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group Forms New Games And Virtual Worlds Divisions

To provide its audiences with more innovative gaming and virtual world experiences, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group has formed new Games and Virtual Worlds Groups.

Dave Williams will run the Games Group and Kyra Reppen will lead the Virtual Worlds Group, both under the title of SVP and GM. The announcements were made by Steve Youngwood, Exec VP, Digital Media, to whom Williams and Reppen report.

Imax Headline News

IMAX Signs Theater Deal In Dubai

IMAX Corporation has signed an agreement with Meydan, a sports and entertainment property developer in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to install an IMAX theatre as part of a multi-billion development at the world-famous Nad Al Sheba, Dubai's premier thoroughbred horse racing track.

Nad Al Sheba is home to the Dubai World Cup, one of the world's most prestigious horse racing events.

Expected to be installed by the end of 2009, the new theatre brings the total number of IMAX locations in the Middle East to 12 by 2010.

Dreamworks Headline News

Spielberg And India Firm Close To DreamWorks Deal

The principals of DreamWorks SKG are close to a deal with one of India's biggest entertainment conglomerates, reports THE WALL STREET JOURNAL this morning.

According to people familiar with the situation, the deal would form a new movie venture, giving director Steven Spielberg the cash to finance his DreamWorks team's departure from Paramount later this year.

Mumbai-based Reliance ADA Group would provide Spielberg with $500 to $600 million in equity, moving them one step closer to leaving Viacom, which has been a contentious relationship from the start.

Entertainment Headline News

Entertainment Rights Eyeing Veggie Tales Sale

U.K. children and family specialist Entertainment Rights is reportedly looking to sell one of its U.S. businesses in an attempt to reduce a $200 million debt, per VARIETY.

Big Idea, the Nashville, Tennessee-based studio best known for VEGGIE TALES, is being lined up for a possible sale by Entertainment Rights' new CEO Nick Phillips. A spokesman for Entertainment Rights, however, told VARIETY that reports suggesting that Big Idea may soon be for sale was "speculation."

Show Headline News

Deadline Hollywood: Sit Down, Shut Up And Walk Out

DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD DAILY blogger Nikki Finke is reporting the 14 WGA writers and writer-producers on Sony's animated SIT DOWN, SHUT UP have walked off the show. It is scheduled to premiere on Fox's Sunday-night animated block this fall.

There is apparently a dispute over who has jurisdiction over the writing staff: the WGA or IATSE, the labor union representing technicians, artisans and craftspersons in the entertainment industry, including live theatre, motion picture and television production, and trade shows.

Dreamworks Headline News

DreamWorks' Stock Downgraded After Panda Release

MARKETWATCH reports that an analyst at UBS downgraded shares of DreamWorks to a sell rating today.

DreamWorks enjoyed a sizeable run-up on its shares leading up to the now-successful release of KUNG FU PANDA.

"We are downgrading the DreamWorks shares to Sell from Neutral reflecting our belief that the current share price exceeds the true intrinsic value of the company," analyst Michael Morris wrote in a note to clients.

Headline News

Ignition Entertainment Moves To Glendale California

Ignition Ent., a UTV Enterprise and worldwide publisher and developer of videogames, have moved from their former Marina del Rey office to a new, larger office in Glendale, California in order to better accommodate the steadily increasing size of the company.

A short 28-mile, 30-minute trip inland, their new Glendale office, located at 500 N Central Ave. will act as the central hub for a vast majority of their U.S. publishing operations.

Interactive Headline News

Animal Logic Interactive Launches In Los Angeles

Australian-founded animation and vfx studio, Animal Logic announced its expansion into the game and interactive entertainment business with the formation of Animal Logic Interactive (ALI), to be headquartered in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Giancarlo Mori will oversee the new business division of Animal Logic, which will focus on original game and interactive entertainment design and development for traditional and emerging platforms and media.

Headline News

MAXON Opens New French Office

MAXON Computer, a German-based developer of 3-D software, has opened an office in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. In cooperation with the French distributor of its award-winning products CINEMA 4D and BodyPaint 3D, MAXON can now offer even greater support for its French user base.

MAXON's products have been used in productions worldwide, ranging from architecture to medical, from advertising to industrial design and from broadcast to major Hollywood movies.

Company Headline News

Indian Media Company Buys U.K. VFX House Men-from-Mars

Century Communications, one of India's largest independently owned media companies and owner of leading Indian vfx company Pixion, is making its first move into the global arena with the acquisition of U.K. based, vfx house Men-from-Mars.

Studio Headline News

PS3 Game Developer Insomniac Games Expands To North Carolina

Insomniac Games is opening a North Carolina-based development studio.

The new studio, which will be located in the Raleigh-Durham area, marks the first expansion in Insomniac's 14-year history. The North Carolina studio will also be known as Insomniac Games, and will focus both on developing current and new intellectual properties. While the new studio will operate largely autonomously from Insomniac's Burbank group, it will receive administrative support along with shared tools and technology.

Company Headline News

The Electric Sheep Company And ILL Clan Agree to Split

After a 16-month run, virtual world content creator The Electric Sheep Company (ESC) and its critically acclaimed machinima animation division, previously ILL Clan, have restructured to operate as distinct business entities.

Sega Headline News

SEGA Purchases New Unreal Engine 3 License

SEGA of America has extended its relationship with Epic Games by signing a new Unreal Engine 3 licensing deal for an unannounced, cross-platform game.

SEGA entered into its original licensing agreement to develop multiple titles with Unreal Engine 3 in May 2007. Details of the project in development will be released at a later date.