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.
News Corps., announcing their second quarter statistics, reported a $6.4 billion loss (per VARIETY), the third media conglomerate of the week behind Disney and Time Warner to post extreme losses.
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.
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.
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.
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."